Pacific Northwest gas prices could spike after pipeline explosion

700000 Fortis BC customers could lose service after pipeline explosion

UPDATE: Enbridge issues response to PG pipeline rupture

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.

Currently Fortis has reserves still 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.

"We'll also be working with the regulators of our pipeline to determine what was the cause of this event and it will be a very detailed process, they will look at the pipe itself, analyze the pipe along with any other factors", said Michael Barnes, Enbridge Spokesperson.

'Approximately 100 members of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation were evacuated as a precaution following the incident, ' the statement read.

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.

"No FortisBC infrastructure has been damaged as a result of the incident affecting Enbridge's transmission pipeline".

The company that distributes natural gas to homes around British Columbia is urging its customers to conserve after an explosion and fire on the pipeline that supplies most of the natural gas handled by Fortis B.C.

The explosion happened only about two kilometres from the reserve, forcing residents to quickly flee, he said.

The blast Tuesday evening shut down the Enbridge natural gas pipeline about 600 miles northeast of Vancouver.

"To me, it's just literally how vulnerable we are in that area", he said. "So we are asking everybody to chip in", said Stout. Most residents were being allowed back into their homes Wednesday.

"Turn your thermostats down as low as possible, obviously that depends on the region you're in what you can do, minimize the use of hot water if you've got a gas water heater, turn off your fireplace".

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating the cause of the blast and it is unclear how long it will be before the system is restored.

"They had told me there was gas building up in the underground".

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

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