Sections of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline that leaked last year are now carrying more oil after a National Energy Board decision to lift an earlier safety restriction.
The Darfield to Kamloops and Kamloops to Sumas segments of the pipeline had been under an order to run at 20 per cent below maximum pressure since the discovery last June of two leaks – one 40 kilometres east of Hope near Coquihalla Canyon and another near Merritt.
It was estimated as much as 30 barrels of oil may have seeped from cracks in the pipeline at the two sites.
Kinder Morgan spokesman Andy Galarnyk said the NEB’s Feb. 6 approval of a return to full pressure on the two segments means Trans Mountain will be able to move 267,000 barrels of oil per day by March, up from 250,000 in January.
The pipeline will still be operating at less than its 300,000-barrel daily capacity because pressure restrictions remain in place elsewhere on the line until Kinder Morgan is able to meet NEB requirements for those sections.