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Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline Halts Work After Serious Injury

Trans Mountain is halting construction work on the expansion of the oil pipeline in a voluntary safety stand-down of more than two weeks until January 4, the company said on Thursday, days after a worker was seriously injured.

On Tuesday, an employee of a contractor working on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project at the Burnaby Terminal was seriously injured and remained in hospital in stable condition, the company said earlier this week.

Trans Mountain, which carries crude oil from landlocked Alberta to the British Columbia coast, began last year work on the expansion amid vocal opposition from the British Columbia government. The Trans Mountain pipeline currently has a capacity to carry 300,000 bpd of crude oil. After the expansion is completed, it would be able to ship 890,000 bpd of crude oil from Alberta to the west coast of Canada.

Before this week’s serious injury, there was a fatal injury on a site of the project in October when an employee of one of Trans Mountain’s contractors, SA Energy, was fatally injured as a result of an incident.  

Following the serious injury this week, Trans Mountain said that it had “enacted a voluntary Project-wide safety stand down that will see all Project construction temporarily suspended effective December 18, 2020, to January 4, 2021.”

“Our top priorities remain the safety of our workers and maintaining a safe work environment as we continue to work towards the successful completion of this critical Canadian Project. Over the past two months, we have seen safety incidents at our worksites that are unacceptable to Trans Mountain. This is inconsistent with Trans Mountain’s proud safety culture,” said Ian Anderson, President and CEO of Trans Mountain.

During the safety stand down, the company will engage with its contractors and workers to review and improve standards.

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project is currently completed at 20 percent, and next year will be peak construction for the project, with thousands of people working in hundreds of sites across Alberta and British Columbia.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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