About 100 residents were evacuated within a five-mile radius of an explosion that occurred along TransCanada PipeLines mainline near Brookdale, MB, on Sunday April 14 at 11 p.m. (CDT). The explosion and fire occurred along a portion of the system in a relatively remote area. There were no reported injuries, and about 5.2 Bcf/d of gas is continuing to flow through three of the six mainline pipes there. By Friday, only one line remained out of service.
TransCanada implemented an emergency response plan. Following the rupture, shut-off valves automatically closed to isolate the damaged section of pipeline to allow the gas fire to burn out. TransCanada personnel responded to the site to begin inspections to better determine the extent of the damage. No conclusions have been drawn about the cause of the incident. However, stress-corrosion cracking has been the cuprit in multiple prior Canadian pipeline ruptures, including a recent rupture along the TransCanada mainline in Manitoba.
There was no impact to firm service last week, TransCanada said. However, about 450 MMcf/d of gas flowing under interruptible contracts was curtailed on Monday. By Tuesday, all contracts, both firm and interruptible were being served, a spokeswoman said. And by Friday all but one of the six parallel pipes in the area were back in service.
The explosion occurred during a heat wave in the Midwest and Northeast, providing additional upward pressure on gas prices, sources said. Spot prices at the Dawn Hub in Ontario rose to highs above $3.40 last Monday, while Chicago quotes jumped to highs in the low $3.30s.
“This line is before the split of the mainline into the Great Lakes system and the line that serves eastern Canada,” said spokesman Glenn Herchak. “On an annual basis, the lines transport 5-7 Bcf/d.” He said most of the gas running through this portion of the system is under interruptible contracts.
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