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EnCana Continues Work After Third Attack

EnCana crews continued work over the weekend to close a leak caused by the third attack on natural gas infrastructure in northern B.C.

EnCana crews continued work over the weekend to close a leak caused by the third attack on natural gas infrastructure in northern B.C.

The explosion at a sour gas wellhead in an isolated area near Tomslake, which was discovered Friday afternoon, caused a small leak, though EnCana has said the leak does not pose a risk to the public.

It followed two explosions along sour gas pipelines in the area last month, which police believe are related to a threatening letter sent to local media shortly before.

EnCana spokeswoman Rhona DelFrari said a small camera was inserted into the well over the weekend and revealed no major internal damage to the system.

RCMP Sgt. Tim Shields said investigators were waiting until the leak was sealed before starting work at the site, which is near the B.C.-Alberta boundary.

The force's national anti-terrorism unit has been investigating the attacks.

Shields said investigators believe the explosions were set by someone familiar with the local community.

The first blast on Oct. 11 was beside a sour gas line located about 50 kilometres east of Dawson Creek, B.C.

The second occurred Oct. 16 along a pipeline off Highway 2, about half a kilometre from the Alberta boundary.

The attacks have revealed local unease about the region's oil and gas industry, which has ballooned in recent years.

Sour gas projects often draw controversy because sour gas contains toxic hydrogen sulphide, which is highly toxic and can be fatal even in small amounts.

It was those concerns that angered Wiebo Ludwig, an Alberta farmer who was convicted in the 1990s in connection to oilpatch vandalism in that province.

Author: Jo Amey