Some natural gas flows to curtailed customers after pipeline blast: FortisBC

Some natural gas flows to curtailed customers after pipeline blast: FortisBC

Some natural gas flows to curtailed customers after pipeline blast: FortisBC

After local gas utility Avista announced that customers would need to conserve natural gas due to a pipeline rupture in British Columbia, Canada, experts believe that the same shortage could hit motorists at the gas pump as well.

FortisBC warns all of its consumers to limit their natural gas usage following an explosion on the Enbridge gas pipeline near Prince George yesterday at approximately 5:45 p.m.

There's no word how long the natural gas interruption will last but GasBuddy estimates it could be at least two weeks.

Up to 700,000 natural gas customers in northern B.C., the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island could be directly affected by a potential natural gas shortage, a spokesman for Fortis BC said in Vancouver on Wednesday. "This process will continue through the weekend and includes large, multi-family high-rises".

"When a major artery like this is cut, we have some options to serve customers - we have flexibility to take gas from several points into our system", said Dennis Swanson, FortisBC's vice-president of energy supply and resource development. Its trucks in the Seattle region also run on natural gas.

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

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In an earlier news release, Enbridge said it is working with other companies to find alternate supplies of gas to meet demand. Madonna Saunderson said investigators reviewed "known information by all stakeholders", and concluded there are no clues to indicate the explosion was criminal in nature. The company can apply to resume full pressure, the regulator said in a statement on its website.

The safety board said it has appointed pipeline expert Jennifer Philopoulos to lead its explosion investigation.

Police have found no evidence that Tuesday's pipeline blast involved criminal wrongdoing.

So far no injuries have been reported.

Refiners use the gas to generate steam and power at their facilities.

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