Massive pipeline explosion in BC risks Washington natural gas shortage

Prince George fire

A large fire can be seen near Prince George B.C. on Oct. 9 2018

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.

"Enbridge is working with area communities to ensure public safety", he said.

GasBuddy.com says gas prices are set to rise across the Pacific Northwest over the coming week as that incident knocked out oil refineries in Washington state that rely on natural gas to power portions of their facilities that produce gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

"The duration of the price impact will depend on the length of time that the pipeline is out of service", he says.

More than a million Fortis BC customers are being told to turn off their thermostats to help conserve the supply of natural gas following a ruptured Enbridge pipeline Tuesday night.

The natural gas shortage itself affects customers throughout British Columbia, Washington and Oregon.

An evacuation order had been downgraded Wednesday to the handful of homes near the explosion site.

RCMP confirm a pipeline explosion is to blame for a large fire that burned 13 kilometres north of Prince George.

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A section of the pipeline owned by Texas-based Enbridge Inc. ruptured on Tuesday evening in the Lheidli T'enneh Nation community near Prince George, sending up massive flames that forced the evacuation of about 100 people and led to the shutdown of both oil and gas supply lines in the region.

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

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

"We're very concerned about this", Hall said, adding the focus now would be to keep affected residents informed about the situation.

Fortis expected to receive updates on the situation as Transportation Safety Board investigators and National Energy Board inspectors arrived to assess the damage and attempt to determine a cause.

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

"Given UBC's geographic location at the end of the line, if Fortis BC runs out of gas, buildings that use natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking will be impacted, beginning as early as this evening, or possibly the morning of October 11", the release reads in part.

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