Report blames Burnaby gusher on oil pipeline operator

Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. didn’t follow “standard emergency shut-down procedures” in response to the rupture of its pipeline in Burnaby on July 24, 2007, according to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada report.

This resulted in more oil escaping, stated the March 18 report.

Approximately 234,000 litres of crude oil gushed out of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, spraying 11 houses and causing 250 residents along Inlet Drive to evacuate their homes.

Some 210,000 litres were later recovered from Burrard Inlet, into which the oil flowed through the Burnaby storm-sewer system.

For Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan, the failure to implement standard emergency procedures is one of several issues that surfaced in the TSB report on the incident.

“The accuracy of the drawings and the accuracy of what information was provided to the contractor by Kinder Morgan is another issue that comes out of the report,” Corrigan told the Straight in a phone interview.

The report noted that the location of the Westridge Pipeline was “not accurately indicated” in design drawings, which were based on 1957 “as-built” drawings by Kinder Morgan.

The report also stated that the contractor hired by the City of Burnaby to lay a new sewer line close to the pipeline had requested that Kinder Morgan “resolve the discrepancy”, which was discovered before excavation started.

No guidance was provided by Kinder Morgan, according to the report. An excavator bucket struck the pipeline five times on July 24, 2007, causing the rupture.

“Although KMC approved the project with 2.8 m[etres] of separation between the centrelines of the Westridge Pipeline and the sewer line, the NEB [National Energy Board] requirement that no mechanical excavations be conducted within 3 m[etres] of a pipeline, unless the location of the pipe was confirmed by the pipeline company, was not mentioned explicitly in the crossing agreement or in any of KMC’s notes that were affixed to the design drawings,” the report stated.

It also noted that “KMC had an obligation to ensure that a KMC field inspector was directly supervising that excavation if the pipeline had not been located and marked.”

According to Corrigan, no Kinder Morgan inspector was present when the incident occurred.