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Kinder Morgan to proceed with $5B expansion of Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta oilsands to west coast

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. announced it will proceed with its proposed plans to expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system from the existing capacity of 300,000 bpd to 850,000 bpd. (Earlier post.)

Map of the Trans Mountain pipeline from the Alberta oilsands to the west coast. Source: Kinder Morgan. Click to enlarge.

The 1,150-km (714-mile) Trans Mountain pipeline system (TMPL) is the only pipeline system in North America that transports both crude oil from the oil sands and refined products to the west coast. TMPL moves product from Edmonton, Alberta, to marketing terminals and refineries in the central British Columbia region, the Greater Vancouver area and the Puget Sound area in Washington state, as well as to other markets such as California, the US Gulf Coast and overseas through the Westridge marine terminal located in Burnaby, British Columbia. Only crude oil and condensates are shipped into the United States.

TMPL transports crude oil, refined and semi-refined products together in the same line. This process, known as “batching,” means that a series of products can follow one another through the pipeline in a “batch train.”

A typical batch train in the mainline is made up of a variety of materials being transported for different shippers. Products next to each other in the pipeline can mix. This mixing—or product interface—is kept to a minimum by putting the products in a specific sequence.

The decision follows Kinder Morgan’s receipt of strong binding commitments through the recently concluded open season. A diverse group of existing and new shippers submitted 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) of binding commercial support for the open season. All commitments are for a 20-year term.

We are extremely pleased with the strong commercial support that we received through the open season, which reinforces the appeal of our project and our approach. This strong commercial support shows the market's enthusiasm for expanding market access for Canadian crude by expanding an existing system.

We are still early in the engagement process of the project. We are committed to an 18 to 24 month inclusive, extensive and thorough engagement on all aspects of the project with local communities along the proposed route and marine corridor, including First Nations and Aboriginal groups, environmental organizations and all other interested parties. We will also consider providing financial support to local communities for environmental initiatives. We have been planning for this day for many years and we are keen to start in depth engagement this summer.

—Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada

The preliminary scope of the proposed project includes:

  • Projected capital cost of approximately $5 billion.
  • Twinning the existing pipeline within the existing right-of-way, where possible.
  • Adding new pump stations along the route.
  • Increasing the number of storage tanks at existing facilities.
  • Expanding the Westridge Marine Terminal.

The company anticipates filing a facilities application initiating a regulatory review with the National Energy Board in 2014. If the application is approved, Kinder Morgan expects construction to commence in 2016 with the proposed project operating by 2017, Anderson said.

Preceding a facilities application, the company will file a commercial tolling application to review the company’s proposed commercial structure for the expansion. This filing, which is anticipated in summer 2012, will seek National Energy Board approval on how the company will charge its customers for transporting their product through the proposed expanded pipeline.



This is a good start for phase one of a multi-phase project for new NG, Crude and refined products Trans-Mountain Pipelines for Asian and USA's West Coast customers for the next 50 years or so.

More customers will justify higher price (the end of current $15-$20/barrel discount) for Alberta's products.


A reason to avoid EVs?

"More customers will justify higher price "

I never looked at it that way - don't plan to either.


CAFE could eliminate the need for half a million barrels per day by then anyway. The U.S. Mexico and South America all have huge shale gas reserves. GTL turns them directly into higher grade fuel than refined at a lower price.

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