Enbridge issues response to PG pipeline rupture

Courtesy Katrina Phillips  Facebook

FortisBC requested customers across B.C. turn off their thermostats and limit use of all other natural gas appliances - an alert echoed by Puget Sound Energy, which serves 10 counties in western Washington, and Cascade Natural Gas, which serves dozens of communities in Washington and Oregon.

Prince George RCMP said an incandescent orange fireball that could be seen for kilometres at approximately 5:30 p.m. PT was from an Enbridge natural gas pipeline exploding in Shelley, about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George.

Teegee said area Indigenous leaders met Wednesday with Enbridge officials but left the meeting with unanswered questions about pipeline infrastructure.

Gas prices could jump in the Pacific Northwest due to a natural gas pipeline explosion.

Doug Stout of Fortis BC said Wednesday that 85 percent of the gas his company feeds to homes and businesses is carried by the twinned pipeline that runs from northern British Columbia to the United States border south of Vancouver.

Natural gas customers in B.C. and Washington State are being asked to curtail their energy demand after an explosion of a natural gas pipeline in central British Columbia that could disrupt supply.

Teegee, whose home is about one kilometre from the site, said he and most members of the community of about 100 people spent the night in hotels or with friends.

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

The rupture happened on a natural gas transmission pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge about 13.5 kilometres from Prince George, Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes said in an emailed statement.

"I could feel the heat through the windows", he said.

"We're very concerned about this", Hall said, adding the focus now would be to keep affected residents informed about the situation. "They're going to monitor and oversee the company's response to the incident, and they're going to determine the impact and extent of the fire and release", Neufeld said.

"Turn your thermostats down as low as possible, obviously that depends on the region you're in what you can do, minimize the use of hot water if you've got a gas water heater, turn off your fireplace".

"The incident area has been cordoned off to maintain public safety".

"We are asking them to cut back, too, because we can flow some of that gas past them and down here to the Lower Mainland".

Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Homebuilders Association, said considering natural gas is the most affordable energy available, builders lean heavily toward building new homes that use it.

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