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Enbridge Inc’s Texas Eastern Transmission (TETCO) unit said late Thursday it anticipated the earliest its 30-inch natural gas pipe from Pennsylvania to Mississippi could return to full pressure was late in the third quarter of 2021.

TETCO declared a force majeure on May 28 after the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) required the company to reinstate a 20 per cent pressure restriction on two of three lines (Lines 10 and 15) that make up the 30-inch system between its Kosciusko, Mississippi, and Uniontown, Pennsylvania, compressor stations effective June 1.

That reduction cut flows from Appalachia to the Gulf Coast on the 30-inch system at the Owningsville compressor station in Kentucky to 1.0 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) so far in June from an average of 1.9 bcfd in May, according to Refinitiv data.

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Even though analysts said most of that gas could travel on other pipes, the premium of next-day gas at the Henry Hub benchmark in Louisiana over the Dominion South hub in Pennsylvania rose to $1.08 per million British thermal units so far in June from an average of 66 cents in May.

Traders said that wider spread was a sign that at least some lower-cost gas from Appalachia was no longer reaching the Gulf Coast.

PHMSA’s order came as part of the agency’s increased monitoring of TETCO after three recent explosions.

The first was in January 2019 in Ohio, the second in August 2019 in Kentucky, which was fatal, and the third in May 2020 in Kentucky.

Before allowing TETCO to return to full pressure after the third explosion, PHMSA required TETCO to conduct inspections and submit a request every 90 days to remain at full pressure.

PHMSA ordered the reduction after TETCO found “an anomaly” during a recent inspection that the agency wants to investigate.

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