Monday, January 27, 2014

TransCanada Pipeline in Manitoba Explodes Adding to Concerns about Natural Gas

A massive explosion and fire occurred at a TransCanada Pipeline valve site near St. Pierre-Jolys in the Canadian province of Manitoba early in the morning on Saturday January 25. Local citizens were evacuated immediately after the blast and nearby roads were closed. Flames from the fireball shot 200 to 300 meters into the air and although the fire was extinguished by Saturday afternoon, thousands of citizens are without heating. Natural gas provides essential heating to areas that are enduring extreme cold temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius in addition to whiteout conditions due to blowing snow. 

Tanker trucks are carrying limited supplies of natural gas to vital institutions in areas that have been effected by the explosion. This trucked in gas will only go to health care centers and personal care facilities. According to local natural gas services a total of around four thousand people in municipalities south of Winnipeg.

Although no injuries have been reported, the explosion denied natural gas to Manitoba Hydro, and it could keep citizens without heating for days.

This is but the latest in a seemingly endless string of ruptures of fossil fuel carrying pipelines. TransCanada, the company that owns the pipelines has been actively selling the benefits of the northern section of the Keystone XL pipeline which would transport tar sands bitumen to refineries in Texas.

This past week the southern leg of the Keystone XL began operations amid concerns about the dangers of the pipeline. There have been a number of documented anomalies in the pipeline including faulty welds and dents. Even the US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has cited construction problems in two warning letters sent to TransCanada in September.

CEO Russ Girling called Keystone XL “the safest oil pipeline built in America to date.” As of November, consumer rights group Public Citizen, said that TransCanada had already fixed 125 sags and dents in the southern leg of the pipeline.

Even the US Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has cited construction problems in two warning letters sent to TransCanada in September.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

Related Articles
Los Angeles Oil Spill and the Problem of Leaky Pipelines
BC Town Rejects the Northern Gateway Pipeline
Video - January Fire at a Natural Gas Pipeline in Manitoba
Oil Spills in Trinidad: Fossil Fuels and Politics Don't Mix 
The Rail Company that Decimated the Town of Lac Megantic Quebec Sold at Auction
New Pipeline Project Partners Fracking with the Tar Sands
Stop Old Trains from Transporting Oil
Massive Oil Spill from Train Derailment in the Town of Lac Megantic
Train Carrying Fossil Fuels Derails Causing an Explosion and Fire in Alberta
The Dangers of Transporting Fossil Fuels
Unstoppable Oil Leak at a Tar Sands Production Site in Alberta
Infographic: 13 Oil Spills in 30 Days
Top 25 Oil Spills Over 1000 Tonnes in the Last Decade
Pipelines and Oil Spills in Alberta Canada
Video - This is What a Corroded Underwater Tar Sands Pipeline Looks Like
Pipeline Explodes in Rural Oklahoma Underscoring the Dangers of Fossil Fuel Pipelines
Another Leaking Pipeline in Montana
Oil Spills Add to Concerns about the Keystone XL Pipeline
EPA Slams State Department on its Keystone XL Report
South Dakota Wants Additional Protections Against Spills
Inadequate Safety Measures for the Keystone XL Pipeline
BC Opposes the Northern Gateway Pipeline
Canadian Prime Minister Dismisses Environmental Review of Northern Gateway Pipeline

No comments: