Canada vows thorough review of Trans Mountain pipeline

Dec. 17, 2013 at 6:57 AM   |   Comments

OTTAWA, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said no stone will be left unturned when reviewing Kinder Morgan's bid to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline.

Kinder Morgan announced it filed an application with the National Energy Board, a Canadian regulator, to expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline. The company said its application included environment risk assessments.

"Our government has been clear: we will only allow energy projects to proceed if they are found to be safe for Canadians after an independent, scientific, environmental and regulatory review," Oliver said in a statement Monday.

Kinder wants to spend more than $5 billion to twin the existing pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia. The company said the expansion would at least double the corridor's existing capacity of 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

Advocacy groups in British Columbia have expressed concern about the potential environmental threat from the expanded oil pipeline. Kinder said the existing corridor has been in service for 60 years with few incidents.

An estimated 25 barrels of oil spilled from the existing pipeline in June.

Kinder said Monday it should take at least 15 months for the NEB to review the project. If approved, the expansion would go into service in late 2017.

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