Enbridge responds to natural gas transmission pipeline incident north of Prince George, B.C.
October 09, 2018
UPDATE: December 1, 2019
Today, Enbridge safely brought the entire T-South natural gas transmission system back to full operating capacity.
We completed detailed engineering assessments of the T-South system’s 36-inch pipeline and received regulatory approval from the Canada Energy Regulator to return the system to full operating capacity.
At Enbridge, safety remains at the forefront of everything we do. By operating T-South at full capacity, we are able to provide customers with additional much-needed capacity during the winter.
UPDATE: September 11, 2019
At Enbridge, safety is our number one priority. We are continuing to advance our plan to return the T-South natural gas transmission system to full operating capacity, following the rupture that occurred on October 9, 2018, near Prince George, British Columbia (B.C).
As part of that plan, Enbridge continues to complete detailed engineering assessments on a segment-by-segment basis of the 36” pipeline. As a result of the work so far, we have received approval from the Canada Energy Regulator (formerly the National Energy Board) that would result in gradually increasing the T-South system to 90-95% of contracted capacity by November 1, 2019.
Enbridge expects the T-South system to be back to full capacity by mid-to-late November 2019 following the completion and regulatory approval of the remaining engineering assessments.
UPDATE: November 30, 2018, 2:45 p.m. PST
At Enbridge, safety remains at the forefront of everything we do. We are continuing to advance our plan to return the T-South natural gas transmission system to full operating capacity, following the rupture that occurred on October 9, 2018, near Prince George, British Columbia (B.C).
As part of that plan, Enbridge provided the National Energy Board (NEB) with a detailed engineering assessment on November 19, 2018, requesting to operate a portion of the T-South system’s 36-inch pipeline at full operating pressure. This portion begins near Chilliwack, B.C. and continues south to the Canadian border with the United States at Huntingdon/Sumas.
Today, the NEB granted that request. Enbridge expects this will allow us to gradually increase capacity over the next few days from the current 1.0 Bcf/d being delivered to the Huntingdon area to approximately 1.4 Bcf/d. This increase will provide customers with some additional much-needed capacity.
As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, Enbridge is continuing its comprehensive integrity program on the T-South system. This work is being advanced prior to restoring the entire system to 100 per cent of normal operating pressure. These integrity assessments, which may include integrity digs and inline pipeline inspections, are being done on a segment-by-segment basis, focusing first on segments that maximize system capacity increases while the system is safely brought back to higher operating pressure.
UPDATE: November 17, 2018, 10:00 a.m. PST
At Enbridge, safety remains at the forefront of everything we do. We are continuing to advance our plan to return the T-South natural gas transmission system to full operating capacity, following the rupture that occurred on October 9, 2018, near Prince George, B.C.
The National Energy Board has issued an amending order, increasing the maximum allowable operating pressure on the T-South system’s 36-inch pipeline from 80 per cent to 85 per cent of normal operating pressure at the time of the incident. Enbridge expects this will allow us to gradually increase capacity from the current 0.9 Bcf/d to approximately 1 Bcf/d at the Huntingdon area by November 22, 2018.
As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, Enbridge is continuing our comprehensive integrity program on our T-South system. Enbridge is advancing this work prior to restoring the entire system to 100 per cent of normal operating pressure. These integrity assessments, which may include integrity digs and inline pipeline inspections, are being done on a segment-by-segment basis, focusing first on segments that maximize system capacity increases while the system is safely brought back to higher operating pressure.
UPDATE: October 31, 2018, 3:43 p.m. PST
Enbridge today announced that it has successfully completed repairs on the section of its 36” natural gas pipeline that ruptured near Prince George, British Columbia, on October 9, 2018, and has begun the multi-hour process to return it to service.
Following the repairs, and a comprehensive integrity assessment, Enbridge expects to begin safely returning the repaired segment to service within the next 48 hours. As part of this multi-hour process, we will gradually increase flows of natural gas through the repaired segment until it reaches 80 percent of its normal operating pressure. The 30” pipeline returned to service on October 11, 2018, also at 80 percent of its normal operating pressure – a measure to help ensure the ongoing safety and integrity of the system.
With the repaired segment of the 36” pipeline returning to service at a reduced pressure, the T-South system is estimated to safely deliver between 820 and 900 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of much-needed natural gas to the lower mainland of British Columbia and the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
Per the NEB-reviewed return-to-service plan, the T-South system was deemed fit for service at the reduced operating pressure. As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, we are conducting a comprehensive dig program at select locations along the T-South system. This work will help further validate the integrity of the entire system, prior to returning both the 30” and 36” pipelines to full operating capacity. Until we are fully satisfied it is safe to operate the lines at full capacity, and subject to regulatory review, both pipelines will continue to safely operate at reduced pressures.
We appreciate the support of the local communities, the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, and government officials throughout British Columbia during this process. We remain in regular contact with the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) and continue to support them in their ongoing incident investigation.
DISCLAIMER: This statement contains forward-looking statements about future in-service dates and system capacities that are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.
UPDATE: October 19, 2018, 10:52 a.m. PST
Enbridge is working hard to repair the 36-inch natural gas pipeline impacted by the incident on Oct. 9.
Safety is a guiding principle in everything we do; we are ensuring all construction operations are being done safely.
We are preparing the site for construction work. The line will be made operational once that work is complete, the line is fully tested, and approval is granted by the National Energy Board.
Based on current information, Enbridge estimates that subject to regulatory approval, its 36-inch TSouth line will be repaired by mid-November, back in service at a reduced pressure of 80% of normal operating pressure. The 30-inch TSouth line was put back into service on Oct. 11, also at reduced pressure, to ensure the ongoing safety of the system.
Subject to regulatory approval, once the repairs are complete and the 36-inch line is back in service at reduced pressure, capacity on the TSouth system is estimated to generally range between 0.9 to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) through the balance of the winter gas season.
Enbridge is committed to bringing its TSouth system back to full capacity in a safe manner and we will provide further updates as circumstances warrant.
DISCLAIMER: Certain information provided in this statement constitutes forward-looking statements. Although Enbridge believes these statements are based on information and assumptions which are current, reasonable and complete, these statements are necessarily subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties pertaining, in particular, to future in-service dates and system capacities. While Enbridge makes these forward-looking statements in good faith, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and readers are cautioned against placing undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by applicable law, Enbridge assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements made herein or otherwise, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
UPDATE: October 15, 2018, 3:40 p.m. PST
Enbridge has completed earth sampling at residences near the incident site. This sampling has detected no hydrocarbons. The mineral and metal composition of these samples is well below the provincial and federal criteria for urban and residential areas. Combined, these results confirm the dust that settled following the incident poses no risk to human health.
Construction of a temporary access road to the site continues. We anticipate that construction crews will be mobilized to the site to begin repair work later in the week.
Further updates will continue to be provided once construction activity commences or as circumstances warrant.
UPDATE: October 14, 2018, 9:50 a.m. PST
Enbridge has completed soil sampling and preliminary field observations and has detected no traces of hydrocarbons in the soil. Field observations have confirmed that, similar to wildfires, soil invertebrates and vegetation root networks are still active and viable around the incident site. Based on these findings, we expect the site to recovery quickly.
Enbridge has begun construction of a temporary access road to the site. This involves laying down protective matting to minimize ground disturbances. We expect this activity will take a few days to complete. This work is necessary to mobilize construction crews and equipment to the site, which will be used to repair the 36-inch pipeline. We have no timelines on when that repair work will be completed.
We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation. We are notifying people in the immediate area that they can expect an increase in activity, as construction crews and equipment begin working in the area. We are committed to working with the community to minimize disruptions throughout this process.
We continue to cooperate with the Transportation Safety Board’s investigation.
UPDATE: October 13, 2018, 9:30 a.m. PST
No incident is acceptable to Enbridge. We recognize this incident has had a significant impact on the communities where we operate and we are working with those communities to make sure their needs are being met.
The Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the investigation, has opened the area for Enbridge to begin site-safety work and begin planning for site clean-up. Planning regarding repair work is underway; however, we have no timelines on when that will commence.
The BC Pipeline system consists of two lines—a 30-inch diameter and 36-inch diameter—connecting British Columbia (B.C.) and Pacific Northwest consumers with the gas producing region of Northern B.C. The 36-inch line ruptured on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. The 30-inch line, was safely returned to service following a rigorous assessment and National Energy Board approval.
Immediately following the incident, Enbridge took the proactive step of reducing the operating pressure of the remainder of the southern portion of its system. We will not return to normal operating pressure until we are fully satisfied it is safe to do so.
We thank emergency responders, civic and government officials and others for their ongoing professionalism and diligent efforts.
We appreciate the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation for their patience and continued cooperative engagement, and are committed to working together as we move forward.
UPDATE: October 11, 2018, 3:20 p.m. PST
Enbridge advises that one of the two natural gas transmission pipelines as part of the BC Pipeline system impacted by a rupture on Tuesday is now operational.
There are two Enbridge-owned and operated natural gas transmission pipelines that are part of the BC Pipeline system – a line that is 30-inches in diameter and a second line that is 36 inches in diameter. Both lines were shut down and depressurized following a rupture on the 36-inch line, which ignited approximately 13.5 km north of Prince George.
The 30-inch line, which runs parallel to the impacted line, underwent a comprehensive integrity assessment that evaluated a number of potential impacts, including the condition of the pipe, geotechnical and ground disturbance, and other potential integrity issues. Following this rigorous assessment, the line was deemed fit for service.
Enbridge received an order from the National Energy Board (NEB) in the evening of Oct. 10 to restart the 30-inch line. Following the NEB order, Enbridge initiated our restart plan to safely and gradually bring the line’s pressure up to approximately 80% of normal operating capacity. Natural gas is now safely flowing to our customers through the single line.
In coordination with regulatory agencies, Enbridge has mobilized significant resources to investigate the cause of the rupture on the 36-inch line, and eventually replace the impacted segment. As this work is ongoing, we do not yet have a time estimate on the investigation process, nor a timetable on repairing and returning the 36-inch line to service. Enbridge will provide more information when it becomes available.
Safety is our number one priority. Enbridge is focused ensuring the safety of investigators and crews at the site, as well as members of the public.
A 1-km security zone around the site of the incident was established immediately following the incident. Unauthorized individuals are not permitted in this security zone, which will be in place indefinitely to ensure public safety and the integrity of the investigation.
UPDATE: October 10, 2018, 9:25 p.m. PST
Enbridge continues to respond following the October 9, 2018, incident on our 36-inch natural gas transmission pipeline near Prince George, B.C.
Enbridge received NEB approval tonight to restart its 30-inch line—which is located in the same right of way as the impacted 36-inch line—and began a multi-hour process to return the line to service.
This restart approval follows a comprehensive integrity assessment that evaluated a number of potential impacts. Enbridge looked for evidence of damage to the pipe, geotechnical and ground disturbance, and other potential integrity issues on the 30-inch line.
Now that the 30-inch line has been deemed fit for service, our restart plan is to gradually bring the line’s pressure up to approximately 80% of normal operating capacity.
Once this process is safely completed, some much-need capacity will be restored for our customers.
We thank emergency responders, civic and government officials and others for their diligence and hard work in this response effort. We also appreciate the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation for their patience and cooperative engagement, and are committed to continue to work together moving forward.
UPDATE: October 10, 2018, 3:48 p.m. PST
The BC Pipeline comprises of two pipelines, a 36-inch and a 30-inch, that run parallel to each other. Both pipelines were shut down following the rupture on the 36-inch line. Safety is our top priority and we are working diligently to return the 30-inch line to service to ensure that gas supply reaches customers. We are diligently assessing the safety and integrity of the 30-inch line.
We are also working with industry partners on sourcing alternate supplies of gas to meet demand.
Approximately 100 members of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation evacuated as a precaution following the incident. We are assisting these community members, some of whom are returning to their homes today and others will be returning tomorrow. At this time, a 1km evacuation zone from the rupture site remains.
UPDATE: October 10, 2018, 11 a.m. PST
Enbridge continues to respond to a natural gas pipeline rupture near Prince George, B.C. that occurred at approximately 5:45 p.m. PST on October 9, 2018. The rupture occurred on a 36-inch natural gas transmission pipeline, causing the sweet natural gas being transported to be ignited. There are no reports of injuries as a result of the incident.
Enbridge is working in coordination with area first responders, communities, officials with the federal, provincial and local governments, and regulators to ensure the safety of area residents near the impacted zone, a rural area approximately 13.5 km north of Prince George, B.C.
We can advise the fire on the pipeline has been extinguished, the line has been isolated and fully depressurized. As a precaution, an adjacent natural gas pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge has also been depressurized.
This pipeline system moves natural gas into the Pacific Northwest region. We recognize the impact this will have on customers in those regions including those in the lower mainland of B.C. We’re working diligently to try to resolve the situation in a manner that minimizes the disruption of gas supply to customers.
Approximately 100 members of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation were evacuated as a precaution following the incident. Enbridge has been in constant communication with members of the community; we have provided accommodations and where appropriate are assisting in a return to their communities. Enbridge continues to maintain an evacuation zone of one kilometer from the incident site.
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. At this time we cannot speculate about how long it will take to resolve the situation. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue to work safely and in a manner that minimizes the interruption of gas supply to communities.
We would like to thank first responders for their rapid, professional efforts following the incident.
Safety is a core value of Enbridge. Enbridge commits to communicating with communities, governments, first responders and the public when more information becomes available.
We are working with regulatory agencies to investigate the incident.
OCTOBER 9, 2018, 8:30 p.m. PST
At approximately 5:45 p.m. PST, a rupture occurred on a natural gas transmission pipeline owned and operated by Enbridge approximately 13.5 km north of Prince George, B.C. The rupture ignited at the site which is in a rural area. There are no reports of injuries as a result of the incident.
Enbridge emergency crews have responded, have isolated and are currently depressurizing two natural gas transmission lines in the vicinity to contain the incident. The incident area has been cordoned off to maintain public safety.
Approximately 100 people in the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation in the vicinity have been evacuated as a precaution.
A cause will be determined following an investigation of the incident.
Safety is Enbridge’s number one priority. Enbridge is working with area communities to ensure public safety.