The Canadian Trans Mountain Pipeline is not without its history or necessity to flow crude and refined products from Alberta to B.C. During the Korean War, the U.S. military expressed interest in developing the 710-mile infrastructure, which was officially put into service in 1953 with an initial capacity of 150,000 BPD. Trans Mountain continues to be the single crude oil pipeline to run between the two points.
Kinder Morgan, Inc. is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America. The company specializes in owning and controlling oil and gas pipelines and terminals. Kinder Morgan owns an interest in or operates approximately 85,000 miles of pipelines and 152 terminals.
Ownership of the line in those early days was split between Standard Oil and Canadian Bechtel, which engineered and constructed the project for $93 million. Trans Mountain later was sold to a new up-and-comer midstream player known as Kinder Morgan looking to expand its Canadian footprint following the acquisition of Terasen for $5.6 billion, and seeing midstream stars in the Trans Mountain Pipeline. KM immediately swung into action with its new baby to add a second pipeline paralleling the first—but only in a short section of the line—and added 40,000 BPD of capacity. Still, Kinder Morgan wasn’t done with its vision of Trans Mountain. In 2013, KM announced building a $7.4 billion, 610-mile expansion that would increase system capacity from 300,000 BPD to 890,000 BPD.
Then, as it frequently happens in the midstream sphere, Kinder Morgan received an offer it couldn’t refuse. The Government of Canada in 2018 purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline, related assets, and the proposed expansion project for $4.5 billion, citing plans to own the assets for the short term and eventually put the pipeline up for sale. But for now the Trans Mountain expansion, which has increased to a $12.6 billion project, is breaking dirt to build a 609-mile twin pipeline inside a bigger operation that also will include 12 new pump stations, 19 new tanks to existing storage terminals, and three new berths at the Westbridge Marine Terminal.
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