Crude oil leaked from Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline near Merritt, BC
CALGARY – The National Energy Board says it’s responding to a spill from Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain line near Merritt.
The energy watchdog said it doesn’t yet know the size of the leak, which took place on Crown land but a release from Kinder Morgan says less than 2,000 litres, or 12 barrels, of light crude was detected.
The release, from spokesman Andy Galarnyk in Calgary, said the leak was found during regular maintenance late Wednesday afternoon near Kingsvale, about 40 kilometres south of Merritt, along Highway 3, in B.C.’s southern Interior.
The NEB reported the pipeline had been shut down and Galarnyk confirmed Kinder Morgan staff were at the scene overnight and are working to repair the line.
The company release said the oil is fully contained, none has seeped into any waterways and there is no threat to the public.
The NEB says it received an incident report late Wednesday afternoon.
“There is no immediate safety concern for local residents and precautions are being taken to ensure continued public safety,” the NEB release said.
The NEB said Kinder Morgan is in the process of contacting area residents and that an NEB Emergency Response Team has been deployed.
The team will monitor and assess the companies’ immediate response, investigation and clean up, the release said.
B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak was not immediately available to comment on the spill. The province recently announced its opposition to the Northern Gateway oil pipeline proposal, due in part to concerns about an oil spill. The province has not taken a position on Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of the TransMountain pipeline.
Kinder Morgan has proposed twinning the TransMountain pipeline, which carries crude oil from Alberta across B.C. to a shipping facility in Burnaby.
The Trans Mountain line ships 300,000 barrels per day of various petroleum products from Alberta to the Metro Vancouver and Washington State.
U.S.-based Kinder Morgan is preparing to file a regulatory application to nearly triple the size of the pipeline – a proposal that had drawn a great deal of controversy in B.C.
In July 2007, about 250,000 litres of crude leaked into Burnaby after a road crew’s excavator hit Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. 70,000 litres flowed into Burrard Inlet and the cleanup cost roughly $15 million and 250 residents were evacuated.
Earlier this month, a pipeline operated by Texas-based Apache leaked 9.5 million litres of industrial waste water near Zama City in northern Alberta.