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Canada Pipeline Explosion Doesn't Affect Duluth, City Gets Gas Elsewhere

Updated: 01/27/2014 8:35 PM
Created: 01/27/2014 5:47 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

When temperatures drop this low, the last thing you probably want to do is turn down the heat, but that's what some natural gas users in the upper Midwest had to do.

The appeal for conservation for some Xcel Energy customers came after a Canadian pipeline exploded Saturday. Impacted areas in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota received natural gas from the shut down gas lines.

Customers were asked to turn down the heat and avoid using natural gas appliances. The conservation request was lifted Monday afternoon after one of three closed lines got back up and running.

The Northland was not affected by the explosion. Officials said Duluth doesn't get natural gas from Canada.

"We're not impacted at all," Duluth Utility Operations Manager Howard Jacobson said. "We're getting gas from the south and eastern part of the country."

Even if an explosion happened at one of the pipelines that services our area, Jacobson said the city would still be in good shape

"We have two pipelines that feed us," Jacobson said. "If we had a problem on one of the systems, we would have the second system as a back up. Duluth is very fortunate that way. Some communities are just serviced by one pipeline."

Jacobson said Duluth has used much more natural gas than normal this year.

Duluth used one billion cubic feet of natural gas in December. That's one fifth of the amount of natural gas typically used in an entire year.

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