Pacific Northwest gas prices could spike after pipeline explosion

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Hundreds of residents at a Vancouver apartment complex will soon find themselves without heat or hot water after a pipeline explosion in B.C.'s Interior that put two natural gas lines out of commission earlier this week. There are no reports of injuries, he said.

"So far, we're OK-the weather being so nice", Dennis Hougham, another resident, said. He also said people north of the Lheidli T'enneh reserve have been evacuated. "It was dirt. It was in my hair".

An one-kilometre security zone remains up around the explosion site.

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

The company says emergency crews are at the scene and have cordoned off the area. While the ruptured pipeline carries natural gas, chances are that anti-pipeline activists will waste no time in using the incident in their case against pipeline.

In an earlier news release, Enbridge said it is working with other companies to find alternate supplies of gas to meet demand.

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Witness Terry Teegee said the blast shook the area at about 5:30 p.m.

"Because it's a gas, we can compress it under pressure, which is called line pack", he said. "For anybody who lives near a pipeline, you realize that these infrastructure are capable of breaching". Cascade Natural Gas, another company impacted by the stoppage, said Thursday morning that its customers no longer needed to curtail their usage, according to an emailed statement.

The blast knocked out Enbridge's 91-centimetre line, but the company's 76-centimetre pipeline near the damage site is supplying a reduced amount of natural gas, Stout said.

He said 85 per cent of the gas FortisBC feeds to about one million B.C. customers is carried by the twinned Enbridge pipeline that runs from northern B.C.to the United States border south of Vancouver.

Fortis expected to receive updates on the situation as Transportation Safety Board investigators and National Energy Board inspectors arrived to assess the damage and attempt to determine a cause.

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