The City of Vancouver has sent Kinder Morgan almost 600 more questions about its proposed pipeline plan in an effort to plug "significant gaps" in the information already provided by the energy giant.

Using its status as intervenor, the city says its questions, submitted to the National Energy Board (NEB), have arisen from either a lack of clarity in Kinder Morgan's 15,000 page proposal, or from responses to previous questions.

"It is imperative that all of our questions are fully answered by the company this time," the city said in a statement.

"In the first round of requests, Kinder Morgan failed to answer nearly 150 of the 394 questions submitted by us."

The 597 questions submitted by the city in this second round concentrate on emergency management, covering:

  • Emergency and spill response plan
  • How the company has approached the risk assessments for the management of the pipeline
  • Potential human health and marine risks

The city has also posed questions related to the economic feasibility of the project in light of dropping oil prices. Kinder Morgan, the city asserts, based its production growth on a price of $90 per barrel.

Crude oil prices have dropped like a stone since the summer, falling from more than $100 a barrel to less than $50. On Monday, U.S. benchmark crude was trading at around US$46 a barrel.

"Since the NEB has chosen to exclude oral cross-examination and is instead relying on written questions and answers,  it’s imperative that Kinder Morgan answer the questions posed by the City and other intervenors in a full, open and transparent way," deputy city manager Sadhu Johnston said in the release.