UBC issues warning about disruption of natural gas supply

Jan Cross
October 11, 2018

Gas prices are set to rise across the Pacific Northwest over the coming week because of a pipeline explosion in Prince George, Canada, according to GasBuddy.

The rupture happened in a 36-inch natural gas transmission pipeline owned by Enbridge.

Royal Dutch Shell had said it was "proactively shutting units down" at its Puget Sound refinery in Washington state due to the incident and Phillips 66 said it was adjusting operations at its Ferndale refinery, also in Washington state.

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

The school was also anxious about a lack of heating and hot water on campus but they're no longer expecting to be impacted.

Enbridge spokesperson Michael Barnes told The Canadian Press company crews were working to assess the situation Tuesday night.

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.

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The RCMP has confirmed that there has been a pipeline explosion in the vicinity of Prince George, B.C.

A memo circulated from UVic's facilities management division noted the university has already switched its central heating system to diesel from natural gas, and has suggested staff and students bring warmer clothes to work and class.

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

Enbridge earlier said it was maintaining a 1 km (0.6 mile) evacuation zone around the site and was working with regulators on investigating the cause of the incident.

This includes turning off thermostats and limiting other uses of natural gas as much as possible.

"FortisBC is asking BCIT to urgently limit natural gas usage", read the message from the school. Combined, they supply 85 per cent of all natural gas used province-wide.

British Columbia's Ministry of Environment says it has been notified of the incident and that the 900 PSI gas line is operated by Enbridge. That's more than two-thirds of the company's customer base.

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