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The Trans Mountain oil pipeline returned to normal operating pressure during the weekend, following a month and a half of operations at reduced capacity after the infrastructure was shut for 21 days as a precaution during rainstorms in British Columbia in mid-November.
Trans Mountain Pipeline, the only operating system carrying crude oil to Canada’s West Coast, is back to operations at normal pressures, the operator said this weekend.
Trans Mountain was shut down as a precaution during the heavy rains and flooding in British Columbia and Washington state in the U.S. in the middle of November. Since the restart, which took place on December 5, Trans Mountain had been operating at reduced capacity.
Now the infrastructure is back to operations at full pressure, after the Canada Energy Regulator accepted Trans Mountain’s plan for return to normal operations, the pipeline’s operator said.
Due to the shutdown of the 300,000-barrels-per-day pipeline in November, British Columbia enforced a fuel rationing regime in late November and early December.
The pipeline shut down amid massive floods in British Columbia. Work on the pipeline expansion was suspended because of rainstorms, which prompted the evacuation of thousands of people amid heavy rains, flooding, and the danger of landslides.
The Trans Mountain pipeline is a vital piece of oil infrastructure, shipping crude oil from Alberta west and to U.S. refiners. It is the only pipeline that carries oil from Alberta to the West Coast and has become the subject of a fierce debate between the oil province and British Columbia because of the expansion plans that would significantly increase its capacity.
Trans Mountain is currently owned by the federal government of Canada. The Trans Mountain Expansion Project – strongly opposed by British Columbia – is expected to provide western Canadian crude oil producers with an additional 590,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil transportation capacity and tidewater access.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.