Kinder Morgan resumes work on Canadian pipeline expansion

Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:41pm EST
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VANCOUVER Nov 21 (Reuters) - Kinder Morgan Energy Partners said on Friday that crews have resumed survey work related to its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, even as Canadian police arrested more protesters at two work sites.

Kinder Morgan said it was able to move its equipment onto Burnaby Mountain overnight and that crews would be working 24 hours a day for the next 10 to 12 days to complete drilling work required by regulators.

The company, which hopes to nearly triple the capacity of the existing 300,000 barrel-per-day pipeline, plans to bore two holes deep into the mountain to test if it can run the expanded line under the conservation site, which is a popular hiking and picnic area for locals.

Environmentalists, aboriginal groups and many area residents are opposed to the expansion, which would allow the company to ship more tar sands crude from Alberta to a port in Vancouver and on to Asian markets.

A group of protesters, who call themselves the caretakers of the mountain, had for weeks been occupying the more remote of the two work sites. On Thursday, Canadian police began enforcing a court order for their removal, arresting 26 people.

On Friday, eight more people were arrested, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement, while three aboriginal protesters remain inside the injunction zone. Police are in talks to move them to a legal protest area nearby.

Kinder Morgan, meanwhile, said it was setting up fencing and lights in preparation for starting drilling work.

The company's proposal to expand the 60-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline is being reviewed by Canadian regulators, with a decision expected in early 2016.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Richard Chang)