We are getting closer to a normal level of natural gas but demand is still outpacing supply, according to FortisBC.

This projected imbalance of gas needs, in large part due to a ruptured pipeline north of Prince George in early October, comes despite the November 17th announcement from Enbridge where they raised maximum operating pressure from 80% to 85%. In addition to this, FortisBC bought additional natural gas in an effort to mitigate any supply and demand issues.

“Between Enbridge announcing it would raise its maximum allowable operating pressure to 85% and our actions to support our supply by purchasing additional natural gas from the market and maximizing volumes on our Southern Crossing pipeline, we’re in a better position today than we were a week ago,” explained Roger Dall’Antonia, CEO and president of FortisBC, in a statement.

“However, the worst that Mother Nature intends to throw at us is likely ahead of us – not behind us. In order to ensure we have sufficient supply for all of our customers, conservation is still needed.”

FortisBC said the increase from Enbridge, on top of the additional natural gas purchased and conservation efforts, will be closer to what the typical supply for this time of year would be. If the imbalance continues, however, it is noted in a statement large scale industrial and commercial customers could face short term curtailment.

“While the risk has decreased, it’s still present until the pipeline returns to normal service. If we work together to conserve natural gas, we can continue to reduce this risk.”

The statement listed conservation steps, including turning down the thermostat and reducing hot water consumption.