An excavator that came into contact with a natural gas pipeline in western Manitoba today caused Manitoba Hydro to shut off the flow of gas into its distribution system in the Parkland region of the province.
The damage to the Minell Pipeline occurred late Tuesday afternoon, just west of McAuley, Manitoba. There were no injuries, and this incident poses no threat to nearby communities or customers. Natural gas is venting safely to atmosphere and local staff are on-site with emergency personnel to ensure the site remains safe.
The communities of Russell, Inglis, Roblin, Riding Mountain West, Grandview, Gilbert Plains and Dauphin are served by gas from the Minell Pipeline. However, due to the current warm weather and low natural gas usage, it is anticipated that residential customers will not experience a disruption to their natural gas service. The amount of gas currently in the pipeline north of the disruption is expected to be enough to ensure continued service.
In addition, Manitoba Hydro dispatched a compressed natural gas trailer from Winnipeg to Dauphin to inject natural gas into the distribution system there, which will help maintain pressure in the system and augment gas service to customers. Manitoba Hydro is looking into obtaining additional gas trailers to provide temporary service to other sites.
A preliminary estimate indicates the damage will take two to three days to repair. Once staff can perform a more thorough examination, a more detailed estimate will be provided. Specialized gas crews are being dispatched to the area and repair work will commence tomorrow morning.
The Minell Pipeline is a transmission pressure pipeline owned by Manitoba Hydro that crosses the Saskatchewan–Manitoba boundary and travels up to Russell, where it feeds natural gas into the local distribution network.
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