Pipeline explodes near Prince George, B.C.: RCMP

Pipeline explodes near Prince George, B.C.: RCMP

In the wake of Tuesday's rupture and fire along the Enbridge pipeline near Prince George, natural gas provide FortisBC is asking customers provincewide to reduce their usage Wednesday (Oct. 10).

The agency will work closely with the Transportation Safety Board, which is responsible for investigating the incident, he said.

About 100 people have been evacuated from the nearby Lheidli T'enneh First Nation as a precaution.

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.

Police say it is still unclear what caused the natural gas pipeline to rupture but there are no injuries and no reported damage other than to the line itself.

Puget Sound Energy and Cascade Natural Gas, both USA energy companies, are 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.

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

Residents previously evacuated can return home.

"There is a potential impact on Seattle and north of Seattle", Stout said. "So we are asking everybody to chip in", said Stout.

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The blast Tuesday shut down the Enbridge natural gas pipeline about 15 kilometres northeast of Prince George.

"I was able to see it very clearly from the hill", he 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.

"We're not going to move away because of one explosion", Frederick said.

"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.

'Enbridge has teams on the ground in the area and has mobilized additional response crews to maintain ongoing safety, ensure the needs of area residents are being met, and support the investigation [into the cause of the explosion]'.

Casey Edge, executive director of the Victoria Residential Homebuilders Association, said considering natural gas is the most affordable energy available, builders lean heavily toward building new homes that use it.

"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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