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British Columbia wildfires threaten pipelines

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World Pipelines,

Major pipeline companies in western Canada have created fire breaks, installed sprinklers and taken other measures to protect operations as wildfires spread to more than 38 000 ha. (93 000 acres) in British Columbia.

Wildfires ripping through Canada’s western province of British Columbia since the weekend have forced people to flee and companies in the mining and forestry sectors to scale back or suspend operations. Some of the worst fires remain out of control and are now threatening Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

Trans Mountain pipeline, which carries 300 000 bpd of crude and refined oil from Alberta to a port in Vancouver for export to the US, goes through the region presently being devastated by the fires.

Kinder Morgan told press that it is currently monitoring the area and taking preventative measures to ensure the safety of its operations.

Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd, a unit of Kinder Morgan Inc, removed vegetation along its Trans Mountain pipeline, created a fire break and added sprinklers to keep the area wet, Chief Operating Officer Hugh Harden said in a statement.

The company said the fires were about 16 km away from a pump station in Blackpool, British Columbia.

Enbridge Inc. has taken a natural gas compressor station offline but it said yesterday that there had been no significant reduction in volumes shipped. Enbridge did not specify which pipeline system the station was on, saying only that it was in the affected area, a region ranging from 150 km (95 miles) to 350 km northeast of Vancouver where more than 200 fires were burning.

The fires have disrupted timber and mining operations, damaged a regional electric utility and forced more than 14 000 people from their homes in the interior of the province.

On Friday, British Columbia declared its first state of emergency since 2003.

In 2016, forest fires in Fort McMurray in neighbouring Alberta province displaced 88,000 people and burned 590 000 ha.


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