FortisBC asks customers across province to reduce gas use after pipeline rupture

FortisBC asks customers across province to reduce gas use after pipeline rupture

Natural gas service to much of British Columbia was being gradually restored Thursday after a pipeline explosion north of Prince George shut down a major supply artery to homes, institutions and industries.

"As a precaution, an adjacent natural gas pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge has also been depressurized".

On social media, witnesses described hearing explosions northeast of the city in the community of Shelley.

While the ruptured pipeline carries natural gas, chances are that anti-pipeline activists will waste no time in using the incident in their case against pipeline.

FortisBC has announced as many as 700,000 customers are facing a temporary lack of access to natural gas because of the explosion. "Minimize the use of hot water if you have a natural gas hot water tank ... so we preserve the gas we have for as long as possible", said Stout.

FortisBC earlier asked customers to avoid non-essential use of gas and said there could be service disruptions.

Royal Dutch Shell had said it was "proactively shutting units down" at its Puget Sound refinery in Washington state due to the incident and Phillips 66 said it was adjusting operations at its Ferndale refinery, also in Washington state.

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The impacted Enbridge lines are the two main lines used to move gas into FortisBC gas system to people in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. "We'll know better when we look at it ourselves".

While everyone got out of the area safely, Teegee said it had been a stressful day that had taken an emotional toll. "So we are asking everybody to chip in", said Stout.

The pipeline is part of the T-South system, stretching over 1,000 kilometres from Chetwynd, B.C., to the US border, which is why it impacts gas distribution across the province and into Washington.

Alberta and B.C. gas prices had jumped in recent weeks thanks to more demand because of unusually cold weather in Alberta.

Yes. Stout said Fortis' industrial customers in B.C. are now under restrictions.

Parkland Fuel Corporation says it is "curtailing" operations at its refinery in Burnaby as a result of the natural gas supply cut, but that it continues its refining operations.

The Transportation Safety Board is still investigating, with support from Enbridge and the NEB.

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