BC residents asked to limit use of natural gas after pipeline explosion

Enbridge pipeline ruptures, sparks fire near Prince George

In the wake of Tuesday's rupture and fire along the Enbridge pipeline near Prince George, natural gas provide FortisBC is asking customers provincewide to reduce their usage Wednesday (Oct. 10).

FortisBC says the Enbridge pipeline feeds its system province-wide and that it expects to see a decrease in the flow of gas and perhaps even a complete loss of service from the pipeline.

"A cause will be determined following an investigation of this event", said Barnes.

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.

A natural gas line disruption in northern BC means that some UBC buildings may be without heating, hot water or fuel for cooking appliances.

"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.

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As many as 700,000 customers in northern B.C., the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island could be directly affected by a shortage, he said.

The blast Tuesday shut down the Enbridge natural gas pipeline about 600 miles northeast of Vancouver. "So we are asking everybody to chip in", said Stout.

"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.

British Columbia's Ministry of Environment said it had been notified of the incident Shelley, B.C., and involved an 900 PSI pipeline.

Puget Sound Energy asked its customers in a tweet on Wednesday to conserve natural gas.

A pipeline explosion has been confirmed to be the reason for a large fire outside of Prince George. Combined, they supply 85 per cent of all natural gas used province-wide. "If we are not able to use natural gas, we will probably have to curtail or take some down time".

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