VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc said on Friday that it is preparing to start construction on a damaged natural gas pipeline in British Columbia and expects it be fixed by mid-November, though it and an adjacent line will both operate at reduced pressure.
The pipeline was shut down after it ruptured earlier this month causing gas to ignite, leading to the evacuation of about 100 people in northeast British Columbia and disrupting refinery operations hundreds of miles away in the state of Washington.
Enbridge said it expects the 36-inch line to be repaired and operating by mid-November, pending regulator approval, though at 80 percent of its normal pressure. An adjacent 30-inch line was returned to service at reduced pressure last week.
The Calgary-based company said once both pipes are back in service, it expects capacity on its TSouth system to range from 0.9 to 1.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) through the balance of the winter gas season.
The pipeline incident cut gas supplies to Fortis BC, a gas utility in British Columbia, and Puget Sound Energy in Washington state, and caused at least three refineries in Washington to shut or curb operations, sending fuel prices soaring.
By Sunday, the amount of natural gas moving from British Columbia to Washington state through the Sumas hub had edged up to 0.3 bcfd from 0.2 bcfd last Friday.
In the 30 days prior to the Oct. 9 blast, the amount of gas flowing through the hub averaged about 1.1 bcfd, according to data from Refinitiv.
Enbridge said it is committed to getting its TSouth system back to operating at full capacity in a safe manner.
Reporting by Julie Gordon in Vancouver; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Frances Kerry