October 28, 2008
What the fuck is wrong with eco-terrorists?
Bomb blast rattles EnCana natural gas pipeline
By: DOUG MCINTYRE
CALGARY - Eco-terrorism is feared as a possible motive after a bomb exploded on a natural gas pipeline owned by Calgary energy giant EnCana.
The explosion damaged, but did not rupture, the 30-cm diameter steel gas line 50 km east of Dawson Creek, B.C., but it left a two-metre crater in the ground sometime overnight on Oct. 11.
Considering the pipeline was carrying sour gas containing toxic hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the result would have been far more severe had it blown open, said B.C. RCMP spokesman Sgt. Tim Shields.
"There would've been a massive explosion and fireball," said Shields.
"Given the seriousness of what was intended to take place, we have to assume the worst - we can't assume this was a one-time event."
The device was planted on a point where the line emerges from underground, its detonation coming just one day after a suspicious letter was sent to an area media outlet.
No specific threats or targets were cited, though the diatribe warned oil and gas companies to cease production and leave the area, said Shields.
"We don't know if it was one individual acting alone or if it was a group," he said, adding threats against producers in the oil industry-intensive region are rare.
The pipeline had an H2S concentration of 0.05% in its gas stream at the time, said EnCana spokesman Alan Boras.
"It's, relatively speaking, a low concentration of H2S," he said.
"But it's a substance that has to be treated with respect at all times and handled in a safe, professional manner."
Boras added he's unaware of any previous threats made against company interests in the Dawson Creek area, located near the B.C.-Alberta border.
"Our people are obviously very concerned about a matter such as this - they're going about their duties with an extra set of vigilance," he said.
Because the explosion targeted major infrastructure, the investigation is being assisted by the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team, composed of reps from the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, and Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Shields said Mounties have apprised oil and gas workers in the area to report any suspicious activity, including taking down vehicle licence plates and descriptions on anyone who looks out of place.
Anyone with information is asked to call the RCMP at (250) 784-3700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
Copyright 2008 - The Edmonton Sun