Fiery pipeline explosion in BC raises possibility of natural gas shortage

Cole Kelly My PG Now

Doug Stout, Fortis B.C. vice-president of external relations, said Wednesday that 85 per cent of the gas his company feeds to homes and businesses is carried by the twinned pipeline that runs from northern B.C.to the US border south of Vancouver.

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

Residents previously evacuated can return home.

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

"This is a unique situation", the Premier said at an unrelated media event in Vancouver on Wednesday.

Doug Stout, Fortis BC vice-president of external relations, said 85 per cent of the gas his company feeds to homes and businesses is carried by the twinned pipeline that runs from northern B.C.to the United States border south of Vancouver.

The Enbridge natural gas pipeline that exploded Tuesday evening is a feeder for the province-wide gas distribution system and, because of this, FortisBC says it anticipates decreased energy flow and potential loss of service.

The explosion shut down the Enbridge natural gas pipeline about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George.

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

"We sort of trained for it. because of the wildfires", Frederick said of the speedy evacuation.

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"I was able to see it very clearly from the hill", he said.

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

The rupture occurred on a 36-inch transmission pipeline carrying sweet natural gas that ignited.

The agency will work closely with the Transportation Safety Board, which is responsible for investigating the incident, he said. "The most significant impact right now is what we are doing in terms of precautions", said B.C. Minister of Energy Michelle Mungall.

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

"Enbridge said it was safe to go home".

Puget Sound Energy, a USA 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 US gas supply.

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

"As I started driving down my street I saw more flames and more flames, and they were getting higher and higher".

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