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Gas Pipeline Explodes, Causes Price Spike

January 28, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

gas explosion energy manageThe explosion of a TransCanada natural gas pipeline in Manitoba, Canada, over the weekend left nearly 4,000 without heat in Canada and natural gas shortages in the northern US states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

Customers affected by the gas outage were told by several gas companies to turn their thermostats down and to make sure all appliances that use natural gas were turned off, reported PBS.

As of Monday, Viking Gas Transmission reported the gas flow at the Emerson interconnect with TransCanada Pipeline had been restored, however the gas flow and capacity levels had not yet returned to normal levels. Viking requested its customers begin a staged reinstatement of normal services immediately to allow a progressive normalization of the Viking system.

According to Platts, spot natural gas prices in the Upper Midwest hit all-time highs Monday, spiking as much as $51 /MMBtu as projected demand soared on cold weather and pipeline constraints. Forecasts called for temperatures to be well below seasonal norms, with both Chicago and Minneapolis experiencing below zero temperatures Monday and Tuesday.

Platts unit Bentek Energy projected Midwest demand to surpass 30 Bcf/d until Thursday, while Tuesday could reach nearly 33 Bcf/d.

Photo: Gas Explosion via Shutterstock

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