B.C. asked to conserve energy after pipeline explosion

Courtesy Katrina Phillips  Facebook

Courtesy Katrina Phillips Facebook

"As a result of the incident affecting the Enbridge pipeline that feeds our system we are anticipating decreased energy flow and potential loss of service", notes the utility provider in an alert issued early Wednesday morning.

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

Two Enbridge pipelines are being shut off: the ruptured pipe and another one that's to be assessed for damage.

Michael Barnes, an Enbridge spokesperson based in Houston, said crews are depressurizing the gas lines and have cordoned off the area of the explosion for safety.

The electricity and gas company FortisBC asked all British Columbians to turn down their thermostats and reduce natural gas use on other appliances on Tuesday.

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".

"Turn down your thermostat if you are in a cold spot".

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

"Approximately 100 people in the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation in the vicinity have been evacuated as a precaution".

Stout urged another 300,000 customers in the Okanagan and southeastern B.C., to conserve even though their natural gas comes from Alberta.

"I could feel the heat through the windows", he said. I thought it might have been hail, but it wasn't.

An evacuation order had been downgraded Wednesday to the handful of homes near the explosion site. Turn off your furnace if you can, if you are in Vancouver or a situation where you can do that. "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.

The ruptured line has had an impact south of the border, as Puget Sound Energy is advising its customers to limit natural gas use.

Gas prices across the Pacific Northwest are expected to spike after a massive pipeline explosion in Canada.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating the cause of the blast and it is unclear how long it will be before the system is restored.

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.

Meanwhile, Fortis BC told NEWS 1130 that none of its pipelines had been damaged in the fire but that they will continue to monitor the situation.

Latest News