Couplings Manufacturer Says Hot-Tar Treatment “Root of the Problem” for WGL Leaks

Responding to claims by Washington Gas Light that LNG is causing leaks in its local distribution system, the president of Norton McMurray Mfg., the company that supplied seals and couplings to WGL, said at a recent FERC Procedural Conference in the Cove Point Expansion proceedings that the increase in gas leaks in Prince George’s County, Md. is attributable to WGL’s use of hot tar in its installation practices. Glen McMurray said that the heat from the hot-tar treatment used by WGL compromised the “margin of safety” of the seals and couplings. McMurray also noted that other LDCs in the United States that have the same couplings in their distribution systems and receive natural gas with a low heavy hydrocarbon content like WGL have not encountered leakage problems like those complained of by WGL. Norton McMurray’s presentation to the Commission as well as a transcript from the Conference are available in the FERC e-Library in Docket No. CP05-130. Today’s Energy Daily has the details. [Subscription required]

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