FortisBC begins releasing 'gas forecasts' in preparation for supply shortage

Dec 5 2018, 9:39 pm

After Fortis BC issued a warning to its customers earlier this fall that the province’s supply of natural gas would be “limited to 50 to 80% of normal levels,” due to a pipeline rupture in northern BC, the company has now started releasing five-day gas forecasts in an effort to provide current updates to customers about the ongoing situation.

The gas forecast provides four different statuses, meant to give customers a sense of supply levels: normal, critical, limited, and extreme.

natural gas

FortisBC natural gas forecast (FortisBC)

Fortis BC said that although Enbridge has repaired their pipeline, it is operating at a limited capacity, meaning BC’s natural gas system “may be challenged during times of peak demand this winter.”

In late November, Enbridge announced that that the National Energy Board approved an increase to the maximum allowable operating pressure from 80% to 85%. With this increase, FortisBC’s gas supply – when combined with additional open market purchases and conservation efforts – will be closer to a typical level of supply for this time of year.

“While this is positive news, we still require 100% capacity in order to fully meet our customers’ demand for natural gas during the winter months,” said FortisBC. “This means that our gas supply may still be vulnerable during extended periods of colder than average weather.”

The company added that as temperatures across BC drop, “it is important to continue to conserve wherever possible, as any gas saved can help offset what will be needed during our coldest days this winter.”

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