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article imageKinder Morgan crews cleaning up oil spill in Kamloops, B.C.

By Karen Graham     May 28, 2018 in World
Kamloops - Kinder Morgan crews are using an emergency response trailer and vacuum trucks to clean up a crude oil spill at the company's Darfield station, north of Kamloops, B.C.
British Columbia's Ministry of Environment said a flow meter had leaked about 100 liters (26.5 gallons) of a medium crude blend, according to CBC Canada.
No waterways have been affected by the spill and it has been confined to the property. In a statement, Kinder Morgan said it had been alerted to the "operational disruption" through an internal safety system in the early hours of Sunday morning, reports the Financial Post.
“The station was quickly isolated and as a precaution, the main Trans Mountain Pipeline has been shut down,” the company said in the statement, adding the pipeline would be restarted Sunday afternoon, and air quality monitoring would be ongoing and neighbors and other stakeholders had been notified.
Oil leak is overshadowed by deadline
May 31 is fast approaching — and having an oil leak, even a small one — is probably not the best news for proponents of the Trans Mountain Pipeline extension project. As everyone is well aware, Kinder Morgan suspended all non-essential work on the pipeline in April, citing B.C.'s opposition to the project.
Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd, a unit of Houston-based Kinder Morgan Inc then set the May 31, 2018 deadline — throwing what has become a "political football" back at the federal government and the feuding provinces of Alberta and B.C. And this is where the C$7.4 billion ($5.7 billion) project has been simmering ever since.
The project has already created ripples in Ottawa, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has promised the pipeline will be built, one way or the other, hoping to sway investor confidence in the country's oil sands, which already produce more oil than the pipelines can move.
However, even though building more pipelines was part of Trudeau's energy policy, along with greater environmental protections, the federal government is now of the opinion that any assurances they can give Kinder Morgan will be rejected, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter, who spoke to Reuters, even though they are not authorized to speak publicly.
And investors and contractors are growing increasingly pessimistic, too. “I can’t walk out of my office or have a beer with someone where a conversation around this doesn’t occur,” said Rafi Tahmazian, senior portfolio manager at Canoe Financial, which manages shares of several Canadian oil producers.
“I’m worried - very worried - that (Kinder) will walk away," he added. Kinder Morgan, meanwhile, declined to comment.
Should Kinder Morgan reject the government's assurances, and not complete the project, this will make the third major Canadian pipeline project to fall by the wayside in two years. And this will only put greater pressure on heavy oil sands crude prices that are already discounted.
Kinder Morgan shares have fallen 9.7 percent since April. “We think the stock itself is pricing in a less than 25-percent chance of the project going ahead,” said Matthew Murphy, an analyst with investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt and Co.
More about kinder morgan, Kamloops BC station, May 31 deadline, Ottawa, heavy crude prices
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