FortisBC asks customers across province to reduce gas use after pipeline rupture

11 October, 2018, 07:57 | Author: Wade Massey
  • The incident is ongoing in the community of Shelley northeast of Prince George

A massive pipeline explosion in British Columbia risks cutting off the flow of Canadian natural gas to Washington State, and companies are urging customers to conserve.

The problems have the potential to flow south of the border.

"But if it's not cleared up in the next 24 hours, it becomes more complex and we will have to make some decisions".

"We'll also be working with the regulators of our pipeline to determine what was the cause of this event and it will be a very detailed process, they will look at the pipe itself, analyze the pipe along with any other factors", said Michael Barnes, Enbridge Spokesperson.

"I saw the smoke, threw my stuff on, and I thought I was just going to drive and check it out", explains one female witness who was near the scene.

'We can advise the fire on the pipeline has been extinguished, the line has been isolated and fully depressurized.

The University of Victoria said Fortis B.C. has requested that it restrict its use of natural gas.

Some gas is still being brought in from Alberta across the southern Interior. "At this time, it is unknown when regular heating service will resume", the memo said. "Island Health can transition from natural gas to fuel oil if necessary, but again that hasn't been asked of us". "The most significant impact right now is what we are doing in terms of precautions", said B.C. Minister of Energy Michelle Mungall.

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Tostenson noted that most commercial kitchens use natural gas, and 58 per cent of the fuel is used in food preparation.

National Energy Board spokesman Tom Neufeld said the fire was along Enbridge's Westcoast main line, which falls under the board's jurisdiction.

He said Enbridge recognizes the impact the explosion could have on customers, but the company can't speculate when the gas will start flowing again.

"Enbridge said it was safe to go home".

"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", the release reads in part. "It's one of the ways of addressing the high cost of owning a home in Victoria".

'Enbridge has teams on the ground in the area and has mobilized additional response crews to maintain ongoing safety, ensure the needs of area residents are being met, and support the investigation [into the cause of the explosion]'.

The company will update its customers as soon as it is in a position to offer something new, said Stout.

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