Gas Deliveries Resuming as Cold Descends on British Columbia



(Bloomberg) -- High-rise apartment buildings, factories and other industrial customers in western Canada are receiving natural gas again, three days after an Enbridge Inc. pipeline explosion deliveries.

Fortis Inc. is bringing industrial customers in British Columbia back onto the fuel distribution system at reduced rates, the utility said in an emailed statement late Thursday. The restoration process will continue through the weekend. The resumption comes as overnight temperatures are set to drop below freezing in Kamloops and other cities in Fortis’ territory in Canada’s westernmost province.

An explosion Tuesday on an Enbridge pipeline outside the remote town of Prince George cut gas supplies to homes, factories and oil refineries as far away as Oregon. While investigations continue into what caused the 36-inch (91-centimeter) conduit to rupture, Enbridge is shipping gas through a smaller, adjacent pipe that was temporarily shut after the blast.

Market Impact

Wholesale  gasoline in Portland, Oregon, fell 7.5 cents to 47.5 cents a gallon over New York-traded futures contracts on Friday, a day after touching a 5-year high. San Francisco prices dropped 1 cent after climbing to the highest premium in more than a year on Thursday.  Heavy Canadian  crude traded at a $47.10 discount to the U.S. benchmark, after hitting a record a day earlier.  Natural gas at Alberta’s  pricing hub climbed 11 percent on Thursday, after plummeting 22 percent the day before. 

Oil refineries impacted by disrupted gas deliveries included Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Puget Sound complex north of Seattle and a Phillips 66’s Ferndale, Washington, plant. Marathon Petroleum Corp. and BP Plc also scaled back some operations in the region, according to people familiar with the situation.

Enbridge spokesman Jesse Semko declined to comment on whether gas shipments had been restored to any of the refineries. Fortis’s regional utility said it was receiving about 40 percent of its normal gas volumes.

With assistance from Barbara Powell. To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Eckhouse in New York at beckhouse@bloomberg.net; Rachel Adams-Heard in Houston at radamsheard@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net Joe Carroll, Margot Habiby.



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