CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With about 500 homes left to service, Port Aransas City Manager David Parsons has given 3NEWS insight into how the city's almost weeklong natural gas outage occurred.
White Marlin Operating Company LLC and Agua Tranquillo Midstream LLC provide service to the area via an offshore gas well in the Gulf of Mexico. The well went down, causing the lines that serve the area to lose pressure during Friday's cold front.
This led to the outage, Parsons said.
Gas lines use a technique called "line packing," which ensures the line has more gas than is being used so there's enough pressure to move the gas through the lines in order to meet demand.
Parsons said during Friday's incident, the malfunction caused the lines that service Port Aransas to lose pressure, which slowed gas delivery to customers and interrupted service.
Parsons said he received the first call from a business owner about the outage at 7:20 p.m. Friday.
Once the interruption was discovered, a compressed gas truck that serves as a backup was sent from Houston, but by the time it was in a position to help, the line had become completely depressurized.
Gas was then turned off around the city, which is far easier than turning it back on, Parsons said. Crews can do that without a homeowner present. Turning it back on, though, requires access to the inside of the home, which is why most of the city crews haven't been able to.
Parsons said the homes that still need gas to be re-established are mostly second homes, and residents who missed the first phone call to reestablish service.
Originally, around 1900 homes were without service, now only about 500 remain, he said Thursday morning.
White Marlin and Agua Tranquillo until recently had four offshore gas wells in the gulf, but Port of Corpus Christi dredging took out several of its pipelines, Parsons said, including one to Portland and in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
Port Aransas's well is the only one currently running.
The Port Aransas City Council plans to meet Thursday night to discuss possibly using another gas supplier after this outage.