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The Westcoast Pipeline, also known as the Westcoast Transmission System[1] and the BC Pipeline,[2] is a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia that brings natural gas from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin south to the province's heavily populated Lower Mainland (which includes Vancouver).[3] It connects to the Northwest Pipeline in the United States and east to TransCanada pipeline. Built in 1957 by Frank McMahon's Westcoast Transmission Co. Ltd., the 650-mile gas pipeline from Taylor in north-eastern British Columbia to the United States was Canada's first "big-inch" pipeline.

From 2002 to 2007, it was owned by Duke Energy of Charlotte, North Carolina.[4] In 2007, Duke's natural gas business was spun off as Spectra Energy,[5] which merged with Enbridge in 2017.[6]

The pipeline experienced an explosion in Shelley, British Columbia, near Prince George, on October 9, 2018. The explosion forced about 100 members of the Lheidli T'enneh Band to evacuate their homes.[1] Although nobody was hurt in the explosion, and no property was damaged apart from the pipeline itself,[1] the explosion led to shortages of natural gas in British Columbia.[7] In 2019, the affected First Nation filed a lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction which would prevent Enbridge from operating the pipeline in their territory and reserves, and require the company to dismantle the pipeline and restore the affected lands to their natural state.[8]

Enbridge has proposed a "reliability and expansion program" which would entail replacing old compressor stations, adding an additional compressor station, and other maintenance activities. This project would increase the pipeline's capacity by 190 MMcf/day, and is expected to be completed in late 2021.[9]

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  1. ^ a b c News (2018-10-10). "'It was huge': Enbridge gas pipeline ruptures, sparking massive fire and evacuation north of Prince George, B.C. | Financial Post". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  2. ^ "Natural gas transmission and midstream". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  3. ^ Government of Canada, National Energy Board (2019-01-04). "NEB – Pipeline Profiles: Westcoast". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  4. ^ "Duke Energy Completes Westcoast Energy Acquisition". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  5. ^ "Spectra Energy completes spinoff from Duke Energy". Reuters. 2007-01-02. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  6. ^ Commodities; Energy (2016-09-06). "Enbridge Inc deal to buy Spectra creates 'energy infrastructure colossus' with $48 billion of future projects | Financial Post". Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  7. ^ Oct 22, CBC News · Posted:; October 23, 2018 2:42 PM PT | Last Updated:; 2018. "B.C.'s natural gas supply could be reduced as much as 50% this winter | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  8. ^ "First Nation affected by B.C. pipeline explosion files lawsuit against Enbridge |". 2019-02-27. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  9. ^ "T-South Reliability and Expansion Program". Retrieved 2019-03-29.