Friday, 19 October, 2018

Pipeline explosion expected to increase prices at the pump

Prince George fire A large fire can be seen near Prince George B.C. on Oct. 9 2018
Steven Clarke | 11 October, 2018, 07:57

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.

Fortis now has natural gas reserves in the pipeline south of Prince George, in its liquefied natural gas storage tanks in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, and there is some gas flowing from Alberta through a pipeline in southern B.C., Stout said.

The incident forced the evacuation of several homes in the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation, but most of the roughly 100 residents have been allowed to return home.

The Enbridge pipeline connects to the Northwest Pipeline system that feeds Puget Sound Energy in Washington state and Northwest Natural Gas in Portland. No injuries were reported, and investigators are on scene, though the cause of the rupture remains unknown.

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

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

"About 70 per cent of customers could be impacted here", said Douglas Stout, vice-president of external relations with FortisBC.

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

Sears may be preparing to file for bankruptcy
The impetus for the fast-moving bankruptcy preparation is a $134 million debt payment due this coming Monday. Sears' acting spokesman, Howard Riefs, said Brathwaite had informed the retailer of his exit last month.

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

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

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

Enbridge said in a statement that it will be investigating the cause of the explosion.

"We have agreed as an industry to get people to conserve in the event of a shortage", said Ian Tostenson, chief executive of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association. "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.

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.

He said Enbridge recognizes the impact the explosion could have on customers, but the company can't speculate when the gas will start flowing again.

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