News Release
August 20, 2004


HOUSTON -- A fire, which ignited early Thursday morning at the Moss Bluff salt cavern storage facility outside Houston, increased in size early Friday after an above-ground valve structure gave way, resulting in a larger release of gas.

At about 1:30 a.m. the valve structure above Cavern #1 gave way due to the intense heat of the flame, increasing the release of gas. The flame increased from approximately 100 feet to up to 1000 feet.

All personnel on the site have been accounted for, and no injuries were reported.

Duke Energy Gas Transmission recommended to emergency personnel in Liberty and Chambers counties that a three-mile area around the facility be evacuated.  The company is assisting the sheriff’s departments in relocating residents.

The increased release of gas should speed the burn-off and reduce the duration of the fire.

Located in Liberty County, Texas, approximately 40 miles northeast of Houston, the Moss Bluff salt cavern storage facility has three separate storage caverns. Caverns #2 and #3 are unaffected.  The facility provides natural gas producers and shippers with approximately 16 billion cubic feet of storage.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway, and damage assessments are continuing.

The facility has been isolated from five nearby pipelines, which continue to operate. However, due to the incident, service to Moss Bluff storage customers has been suspended.

Duke Energy Gas Transmission is a North American leader in developing energy infrastructure and connecting major natural gas supply basins to growing markets. The company’s natural gas operations include more than 17,500 miles of transmission pipeline and about 250 billion cubic feet of storage capacity in Canada and the United States. More information on DEGT can be found at:

Duke Energy is a diversified energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses, both regulated and unregulated, and an affiliated real estate company. Duke Energy supplies, delivers and processes energy for customers in North America and selected international markets. In 2004, the company celebrates a century of service with the 100th anniversary of its electric utility Duke Power. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the internet at

Contact: Gretchen Krueger
Phone: 713-627-4072
24-Hour Phone: 704-382-8333