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Kinder Morgan to restart Trans Mountain pipeline after small leak

File photo of an existing section of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Kinder Morgan/Kinder Morgan

Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. has fixed its Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline following its discovery of a small leak in British Columbia this week, and said it planned to reopen the major export route to the West Coast on Friday.

Kinder Morgan also chopped its estimate of the volume of oil that spilled from the line Southwest of Merritt, B.C., to less than six barrels, or 1 cubic metre.

The source of the spill was a small defect that the company's testing had detected, it said.

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Despite the small size of the spill, the incident garnered wide attention against a backdrop of plans by Kinder Morgan and Enbridge Inc. to vastly expand pipeline capacity to the Pacific Coast as a way to open up new markets in Asia. The multi-billion-dollar proposals face stiff opposition from environmental groups and many aboriginal communities, which warn of risks of oil spills on land and in water.

The Trans Mountain pipeline carries up to 300,000 barrels of oil a day from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C., where it provides Alberta crude to refineries in B.C., Washington as well as to export markets via a marine terminal.

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