Canadian Manufacturing

Wellhead fire still raging in Prud’homme, Sask.

An October 12 explosion ignited the wellhead fire at the TransGas facility near Prud'homme, northeast of Saskatoon.



PRUDHOMME, Sask.—A fire was still raging October 13 at a remote natural gas pumping station in Saskatchewan.

An October 12 explosion ignited the wellhead fire at the TransGas facility near Prud’homme, northeast of Saskatoon.

TransGas is a subsidiary of Crown-owned SaskEnergy, and company spokesman Dave Burdeniuk said an attempt might be made today to turn off the gas that is feeding the fire.

Safety Boss, a Calgary company that specializes in snuffing oil and gas fires, has been called in to tackle the tricky operation.

Burdeniuk has said it appears the flames were sparked during a release of natural gas from one of seven huge underground storage caverns at the site.

The caverns, he explained, are used to store natural gas for the winter when demand for heating is greater.

The caverns are about a kilometre-and-a-half down and are carved with water in underground salt deposits. Each cavern is about as tall as a 12-storey office building.

Burdeniuk said he was unsure about whether there was a risk of the gas igniting underground, however, four homes in the area have been evacuated as a precaution.

He said automated equipment shut the facility down and vented off any remaining natural gas that was in the pipes, which he said isn’t toxic.

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