Canadian Mounties investigating blasts along EnCana line

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the second explosion to target an EnCana Corp. sour gas pipeline in less than a week.

Oct 20th, 2008

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20 -- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the second explosion to target an EnCana Corp. sour gas pipeline in less than a week. The explosion took place just 20 km from the site of the first blast near Dawson Creek, BC.

RCMP said the second explosion, evidence of which was found by workers on Oct. 16 in a "remote and isolated area," appears to be another deliberate act that this time fractured the pipeline.

"This is the second incident this week in the same area and it appears the two events are related," RCMP said.

EnCana spokesman Alan Boras said the most recent incident was on a line carrying more than 1 million cu m/day of gas, while the first bombing was on a line carrying 1.7 million cu m/day.

Boras said the firm's workers noticed a leak Oct. 16 at the intersection of two pipelines and the line was immediately shut down.

"We've increased security and we've shut in the facilities affected by this," he said. "This is worrisome because it appears to be deliberate.

"Because of the events [of] the past weekend the RCMP were notified," he added. "There was no danger to the public."

RCMP are investigating if the weekend explosion was linked to a letter sent to media in Dawson Creek last week warning the oil and gas industry to leave northeastern British Columbia.

"We will no longer negotiate with terrorists, which you are, as you keep endangering our families with crazy expansion of deadly gas wells in our homelands," said the letter, which was published by the Dawson Creek Daily News.

"We're not characterizing this as terrorism, but we're characterizing it as a targeted attack," said RCMP Sgt. Tim Shields. He said the police are using investigators from a number of specialized units, including the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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