What is Kinder Morgan’s record of spills?



This page builds on information from a Tsleil-Waututh Nation report that assesses the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline and tanker project. You can read and download the full report here.


Since the 1960s, the longest period of time the Trans Mountain Pipeline has gone without a spill is approximately four years (Kinder Morgan Spill Chart). Most of these spills have been of crude oil. Crude oil spills have dire and long-lasting impacts on the environment and are incredibly difficult to clean. Below are notable spills originating from Kinder Morgan facilities in the last twenty years.


Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Oil Spills Top 10 1961-2013

Source: Vancouver Observer.

Measurement conversions taken from Google Conversions: 1 barrel = 160 litres

British Columbia South Coast

July 15, 2005: 210,000 litres (1,320 barrels) of crude oil were leaked at the Sumas Tank Farm operated by Kinder Morgan (BC Metis Kinder Morgan Assessment, p. 4).


June 4, 2007: 69,950 litres (440 barrels) of crude oil were spilled at former Wahleach pump station, and reports indicate that the Kinder Morgan pipeline may have been leaking for weeks beforehand (BC Metis Kinder Morgan Assessment, p. 4).


July 24, 2007: 250,000 litres (1,500 barrels) of crude oil spilled out of the pipeline in Burnaby, BC. The crude oil flowed through neighbourhood storm sewers and ditches before entering and contaminating a large portion of Burrard Inlet (CBC).


May 6, 2009: An estimated 200,000 litres (1,260 barrels) of crude oil leaked from Kinder Morgan’s oil storage facility in Burnaby, BC (CBC).


January 24, 2012: An estimated 110,000 litres (692 barrels) of crude oil leaked from Kinder Morgan’s oil storage facility on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford (BC Metis Kinder Morgan Assessment, p. 4).

Elsewhere in North America

November 9, 2004: Five people were killed, and four were injured in an explosion that occurred when an excavator hit a Kinder Morgan gas pipeline in Walnut Creek, California (SFGate). Kinder Morgan had failed to properly mark the pipeline’s location, and the excavator operator had been given an inaccurate map (The TyeeHuffington Post).

November 21, 2004: A storm caused a 14-inch diameter pipeline in Sacramento California to erupt, causing an 80-foot geyser of oil to shoot into the air. The leak was not discovered until the next morning, and the nearby highway was closed, followed by Kinder Morgan’s multi-day clean-up response (US EPA, p. 1).

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How likely is an oil spill if the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline goes ahead? Based on the Kinder Morgan's past record, an oil spill is likely to happen at least once in four years, and the proposed pipeline will make oil spills more likely. If the proposed pipeline is implemented, the likelihood of a spill in the Burrard Inlet over fifty years lies at 79-87%.
Would tanker traffic increase if the proposed pipeline was built? Acoustic disturbance: Increased tanker traffic will cause acoustic disruption underwater, and cause marine animals to change their behaviour -- especially culturally important species such as whales and blackfish. For more information, see our page on the pipeline's impacts on whales.

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