Enbridge issues response to PG pipeline rupture

Adjust Comment Print

Natural gas resumed pumping into Washington from Canada early Thursday, having been halted since Tuesday by a pipeline rupture near Prince George, British Columbia, according to Puget Sound Energy, Washington's biggest private energy utility company.

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

So far no injuries have been reported.

Until the line is fixed, natural gas supply across the province will be limited.

A larger, 36-inch line that ruptured Tuesday remains out of service with no timeframe for fix, which is limiting the supply of natural gas in the north, southwestern B.C., and Vancouver Island.

GasBuddy claims that the duration of the price spike will depend on how long the Enbridge pipeline remains out of service, but it could be felt for the next week or two.

The company isolated and depressurized a 36-inch pipeline, which carries gas to the Pacific Northwest, after it ruptured on Tuesday evening causing gas to ignite.

In an earlier news release, Enbridge said it is working with other companies to find alternate supplies of gas to meet demand.

"It's really grown in the last four years or so", he said, noting Fortis has told him they have connected more homes in Victoria in the last year to natural gas than in any other year.

'Thank you for all your concern, we are all okay, we are staying at a hotel tonight, the community is evacuated, everyone is accounted for and okay too.

Investigators are still searching for a cause of the blast just outside Prince George.

"All refineries run on natural gas to create steam, to create energy, to turn oil into gasoline", McTeague said. Teegee said he saw a 60-metre fireball in the near distance and the impact showered him with dirt.

Stout urged another 300,000 customers in the Okanagan and southeastern B.C., to conserve even though their natural gas comes from Alberta.

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.

Combined, they supply 85 per cent of all natural gas used province-wide.