Thursday, 13 December, 2018


Pacific Northwest gas prices could spike after pipeline explosion

Customers asked to limit use of natural gas Customers asked to limit use of natural gas
Kristine Garrett | 12 October, 2018, 14:33

According to B.C.'s Ministry of Environment, the incident occured at a gas line that is operated by Enbridge.

"Given UBC's geographic location at the end of the line, if Fortis BC runs out of gas, buildings that use natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking will be impacted, beginning as early as this evening, or possibly the morning of October 11", reads the alert.

There were no injuries and RCMP said Thursday there are no indications the explosion was criminal in nature.

It says restoring flow in the smaller line is a positive step, but until the damaged larger line is repaired, a shortage of natural gas continues. The refineries are largely fuelled by natural gas from the B.C. pipeline.

Although the fire on the pipeline has been extinguished, two Enbridge pipelines are being shut off: the ruptured pipe and another one that's to be assessed for damage.

Meanwhile, petroleum analysts expect gas prices to skyrocket by up to thirty cents per gallon.

While everyone got out of the area safely, Teegee said it had been a stressful day that had taken an emotional toll.

"They had told me there was a gas building up in the underground".

Pacific Northwest gas prices could spike after pipeline explosion

"When a major artery like this is cut, we have some options to serve customers - we have flexibility to take gas from several points into our system", said Dennis Swanson, FortisBC's vice-president of energy supply and resource development.

Oil refineries use natural gas, so a shortage could drive up prices.

Some gas is still being brought in from Alberta across the southern Interior.

"There is a potential impact on Seattle and north of Seattle", he said.

"A cause will be determined following an investigation of the incident", Barnes said.

About 100 people living within one kilometre of the explosion area on the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation reserve were evacuated Tuesday night after the explosion and fire.

"We don't know what caused this explosion yet but once we do know, no doubt there will be some lessons to be learned and we will be implementing those as regulators".

As many as 70 per cent of FortisBC's natural gas customers could be without service following an explosion of a pipeline north of Prince George.

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