Massive pipeline explosion in BC risks Washington natural gas shortage

Blanche Robertson
October 11, 2018

Puget Sound Energy, a US energy company, is also asking customers in Washington state to help conserve natural gas and electricity because of B.C.'s pipeline rupture and the impact it has on the USA gas supply.

No one was hurt when the fireball lit up the sky near the community of Shelley, British Columbia and forced about 100 members of the nearby Lheidli T'enneh First Nation from their homes.

Enbridge is still investigating the cause of the explosion.

The Westcoast Transmission System transports natural gas produced in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to consumers in B.C. and, through interconnecting pipelines, other Canadian provinces and the United States.

They say there are no injuries and no reported damage other than to the pipeline itself. "They're going to monitor and oversee the company's response to the incident, and they're going to determine the impact and extend of the fire and release", Neufeld said.

Several homes were evacuated after a pipeline ruptured and caused a large fire near Prince George, B.C. Tuesday. Later in the night, the evacuation zone was reduced to one kilometre and residents were able to return home, CTV reports.

He said the blast sounded like a huge rumbling train or low-flying jet passing over his roof.

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

The Enbridge pipeline connects to the Northwest Pipeline system that feeds Puget Sound Energy in Washington state and Northwest Natural Gas in Portland.

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"Enbridge is working with area communities to ensure public safety", he said.

An investigation is underway and explains where they go from here.

Fortis now has reserves in the pipeline south of Prince George, in its liquefied natural gas storage tanks in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, and there is some gas flowing from Alberta through a pipeline in southern B.C., he said.

The Enbridge website describes its almost 2,900 kilometre natural gas pipeline as capable of "transporting approximately 55 per cent of the gas produced in the province", and "the backbone of B.C.'s natural gas industry since 1957".

"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".

Prince George RCMP responded to a call of an explosion near Landooz Road, north of PG.

The City of Prince George has set up an emergency centre due to the fire.

More information to come as this story develops.

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