Kinder Morgan Receives Support from Tar Sands Players to Double its Pipeline to Vancouver


Read this story from the Vancouver Sun on pipeline giant Kinder Morgan’s recent step closer to expanding its existing Trans-Mountain Pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to Vancouver – which would result in up to 300 loaded supertankers a year passing through Burrard Inlet. (Feb. 21, 2012)

CALGARY – Kinder Morgan Energy Partners said on Tuesday it has received enough binding commitments from shippers for a proposed $3.8 US billion project doubling the size of its 300,000 barrel per day Trans Mountain oil pipeline to begin initial design work for the expansion.

The company said a recent open season held to gauge shipper interest in expanding the Alberta to Vancouver pipeline had received support from a diverse group of customers. It will make a final decision on moving the line’s capacity up to 600,000 bpd by the end of March.

“The response to our open season was very encouraging,” Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan’s Canadian unit, said in a statement. “The strong support received through this process will now allow us to complete initial project design and planning.”

Canadian oil producers, supported by the government, have been urging development of a line that would let them tap high-paying Asian markets and U.S. West Coast refineries. The majority of Canada’s oil exports currently flow to the U.S. Midwest, where a glut of crude at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub has depressed prices.

Production from Alberta’s oil sands, the world’s third largest crude oil reserve, is set to nearly double to 3 million barrels per day by 2020.

Trans Mountain, which takes oil to the port of Vancouver and refineries in British Columbia and Washington state, is the only pipeline carrying oil sands crude to the Pacific. Space on the line has been rationed for months as customers look to ship more oil than the line can handle.