The Westcoast Pipeline, also known as the Westcoast Transmission System and the BC Pipeline, is a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia that brings natural gas from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin south to the province's heavily populated Lower Mainland (which includes Vancouver). It connects to the Northwest Pipeline in the United States and east to TransCanada pipeline. Built in 1957 by Frank McMahon's Westcoast Transmission Co. Ltd., the 650-mile gas pipeline from Taylor in north-eastern British Columbia to the United States was Canada's first "big-inch" pipeline.
The pipeline experienced an explosion in Shelley, British Columbia, near Prince George, on October 9, 2018. The explosion forced about 100 members of the Lheidli T'enneh Band to evacuate their homes. Although nobody was hurt in the explosion, and no property was damaged apart from the pipeline itself, the explosion led to shortages of natural gas in British Columbia. In 2019, the affected First Nation filed a lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction which would prevent Enbridge from operating the pipeline in their territory and reserves, and require the company to dismantle the pipeline and restore the affected lands to their natural state.
Enbridge has proposed a "reliability and expansion program" which would entail replacing old compressor stations, adding an additional compressor station, and other maintenance activities. This project would increase the pipeline's capacity by 190 MMcf/day, and is expected to be completed in late 2021.
- December 27, 1954 TIME magazine article titled The Big Poker Game on Frank McMahon's plans for the Westcoast Transmission pipeline
- October 21, 1957 TIME magazine article titled Tycoon's Wing-Ding, a detailed account on Frank McMahon and the completion of the Westcoast Transmission pipeline
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