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EnCana Pipeline Attacked by Second Blast

EnCana Corp experienced a second explosion in less than a week its natural gas pipeline system on the border between British Columbia and Alberta

EnCana Corp experienced a second explosion in less than a week its natural gas pipeline system on the border between British Columbia and Alberta.

The latest blast, near Dawson Creek, British Columbia, left a crater and caused a small leak from an 8-inch sour gas line operated by Canada's largest natural gas distributor. The blast site was found by pipeline workers at around 9:15 a.m. local time about 50 kilometers from Dawson Creek, according to a police statement.

“We've increased security and we've shut in the facilities affected by this,” Alan Boras, a spokesman for EnCana, told reporters at the company's Calgary headquarters. “This is worrisome because it appears to be deliberate.”

The pipeline is in a remote region that's difficult to monitor, Boras said. The company hasn't received any direct demands, he said.

A small amount of sour natural gas, containing a low percentage of hydrogen sulfide, was released, the company said. The line can carry about 50 million cubic feet a day of gas to processing plants in the region. There were no injuries and residents were notified of the event.

Processing plants in the area continue to be fed gas from other lines, said Boras. The blast occurred at a junction where pipelines come from below ground for short distances.

A hunter discovered the first explosion on Oct. 12 on a 12- inch line on the same pipeline network, and the bomb probably went off the night before, police said.
Before the first blast, a local news outlet received a “suspicious” letter on Oct. 10, telling gas and oil companies to leave the area, police said.

Dawson Creek is about 890 kilometers northwest of Calgary.

Author: Jo Amey