CALGARY — Kinder Morgan it expects to restart its Trans Mountain pipeline later Tuesday, after it was taken out of service over the long weekend to repair an oil leak.
“During an overnight inspection of the pipe, no free oil was visible during excavation, confirming the small, localized impact of the release,” the company said in a statement.
“We have been working co-operatively with all involved in responding to and impacted by this response. Environmental mitigation measures are in place to contain the localized impact. Employee and public safety, and environmental protection remain our top priorities in this response.”
The spill took place 150 kilometres west of Edmonton. High water levels and wet soil initially hampered access to the pipeline.
The National Energy Board, the federal watchdog that oversees pipelines, sent five people up to the site to monitor the clean-up, said board spokeswoman Carole Leger-Kubeczek.
“The NEB’s role is to protect the environment, and make sure also that the people living or working close to the pipeline are safe,” she said.
The leak was in a very remote area, where two landowners may have been affected. No water sources appear to have been damaged.
“The leak is not very far away from a creek, but the water has been tested on a number of occasions and so far we haven’t seen the presence of oil in the water,” Leger-Kubeczek said.
Neither Kinder Morgan nor the NEB could quantify exactly how much oil had leaked, but both say it was a small amount.
“All we saw was a sheen on the surface, but we didn’t see any puddles. And so it doesn’t appear that it was a very heavy leak,” Leger-Kubeczek said.
The Trans Mountain pipeline has the capacity to carry 300,000 barrels per day of crude oil and various refined products.
It starts near Edmonton and ends up at terminals in the Vancouver area and in Washington state.