Natural gas supply will be limited this winter (Fortis BC)
On October 9, 2018 an Enbridge-owned natural gas transmission pipeline ruptured near Prince George, BC.
While the pipeline has been repaired and returned to service, it’s important to note that Enbridge plans to operate their transmission system at a reduced capacity for the next few months, starting at about 55 per cent capacity and gradually ramping up to 80 per cent.
As the owner and operator of the transmission pipeline, Enbridge is continuing work to further validate the integrity of their entire transmission system, before returning it to full operating capacity. The National Energy Board holds the regulatory authority to mandate limits on pipeline operating pressure and must approve any planned increases in Enbridge’s pipeline pressure.
While returning Enbridge’s full transmission to 80 per cent will be a positive step, it will not be enough natural gas to support the typical consumption of our customers during the winter.
How FortisBC is responding for our customers
FortisBC is doing everything possible to ensure natural gas is available for our customers, including bringing gas from Alberta through our Southern Crossing pipeline, securing additional natural gas on the open marketplace and working with our industrial customers to help them decrease their natural gas use.
FortisBC also owns a number of natural gas storage facilities located throughout BC that can be accessed during times of high demand, but the amount of gas they can store is limited.
What does this mean for customers?
Because BC’s natural gas supply will be limited over the coming months, we are asking all our customers, from homeowners and stratas, to businesses and municipal buildings, to continue to focus on conservation measures to help ensure a sufficient supply of natural gas is available for customers through this winter.
If customers can continue to reduce their use of natural gas where possible now, this will help to replenish storage options to help offset the difference in availability later.