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Natural gas meters. My Ferndale News file photo

UPDATED: Pipeline rupture in BC results in PSE asking customers to reduce natural gas use

A natural gas pipeline near Prince George, British Columbia ruptured (link to CTV News story) about 5:30pm yesterday. This morning, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) officials have asked customers to reduce their use of natural gas as a result.

PSE officials released the following this morning,

PSE asks customers to conserve natural gas and electricity following pipeline rupture.

A pipeline rupture Tuesday evening in British Columbia, Canada could affect PSE’s ability to supply natural gas to our customers’ homes and businesses.

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Although our supply gas has been impacted, there is no damage to the PSE gas system or safety hazard to our customers from the pipeline failure in Canada.

We are asking customers to help conserve natural gas and electricity. Customers can set their thermostats at a lower setting and limit the use of hot water, such as dishwashing or clothes washing, and other natural gas and electric appliances tonight and through Wednesday morning.

We are doing all we can to maintain our natural gas system operations, and we’ll provide updates as we learn more from our supplier. For electric generation, PSE is switching natural gas generators to alternative fuels.

Across the border, natural gas provider FortisBC asked their customers in British Columbia to also reduce their usage. They issued a service alert statement that noted,

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As a result of the incident affecting the Enbridge pipeline that feeds our system we are anticipating decreased energy flow and potential loss of service.

Cascade Natural Gas, when asked if the natural gas supply in Whatcom County was impacted, provided the following response.

Currently, industrial customers have been contacted and asked to curtail [their use]. At this time residential and core customers are not affected.”

In another local response to the BC pipeline incident, Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery officials said they were adjusting operations due to the potentially unstable natural gas supply and that process will result in a larger than normal flaring.

UPDATE 1pm
Cascade Natural Gas released a notice today stating they are now asking residential and business customers to help conserve natural gas. Acknowledging the pipeline incident in BC, “could affect Cascade Natural Gas’ ability to supply natural gas to its customers’ homes and businesses in western Washington.” They suggest “Residential customers can set their thermostats at a lower temperature and limit the use of hot water, such as dish washing and clothes washing, until further notice.”

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