Pipeline companies review security after 'reckless' protest
Activists entered several pipeline facilities in the United States on Tuesday
Kinder Morgan Canada will review its security measures after a co-ordinated protest in the U.S. attempted to shut down several oil-export pipelines. And the company's president says he expects further attacks if the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Edmonton to the West Coast is approved.
Environmental activists in four U.S. states broke into remote pumping stations Tuesday and tried to disrupt the flow of oil from Alberta's oilsands. The protesters say they support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which opposes construction of a separate pipeline carrying oil from North Dakota to Illinois.
It's extremely dangerous and thank goodness no one got killed.- Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd
"There was a security breach, reckless access to our facilities. No damage was done, no harm was caused, no supply was interrupted," said Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada. "Was there anything we could have done differently? I'm not aware at this point, but we'll obviously take a look at that."
- First Nations look to break 'pipeline gridlock'
- Climate-change activists cut off pipeline flow from Canada to U.S.
The U.S.-based group, Climate Direct Action, said it's responsible for the protests.
They cut chains and tried to close the pipes, but Anderson said the valve connected to Kinder Morgan's pipeline was not turned off and supply was not impacted.
The Canadian pipeline industry has voiced its concern about vandalism after several tampering incidents in Ontario over the last year. Oil companies work together on security measures, Anderson said.
"We share trends that we're seeing, we share social media intel that we may be picking up and [it] informs us quite well about what actions there may be," he said.
The company is already planning security measures for its planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in the event it receives approval and the company can go ahead with the project in Alberta and B.C.
Activists said they studied for months on how to execute Tuesday's shutdowns safely. Together, the lines affected can carry up to 2.8 million barrels of oil a day.
"It's extremely dangerous and thank goodness no one got killed or hurt," said Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd. "It sure sounds quite extreme. It's just plain dangerous."