The Trans Mountain Pipeline could restart at a reduced capacity early or at the middle of next week, the company said in a statement Friday.
“Once restarted, delivery of oil and refined products currently in the line will continue as they progress to their delivery points at either Kamloops, Sumas, or Burnaby. After initial start-up, a sustained effort will continue to return the system to its full capacity as soon as possible,” the statement read.
The pipeline has been shut down voluntarily since Sunday, Nov. 14, when an atmospheric river struck B.C.
Two more atmospheric rivers are on their way to the province — one expected Saturday and into Sunday and one expected around next Tuesday.
Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said Friday a full update on the pipeline is coming Monday but he said even without the pipeline, the province’s fuel supply is “holding steady.”
He said fuel is being brought in by barge and rail with 12 westbound trains and 12 eastbound trains running between the Lower Mainalnd and the Interior on Thursday alone.
Petroleum Analyst Dan McTeague with Canadians for Affordable Energy said Friday the longer the Trans Mountain Pipeline is down, customers at the pumps will continue to see restricted purchases and some limited supply.
“Best case scenario, we’re not going to see anything until the first, second week of December and possibly into Christmas before everything gets back into what we consider normal,” he said, adding that the Parkland Refinery in Burnaby B.C. still has to resume operations as well.
Fleming said people should continue to conserve fuel to help alleviate long lines at the pumps and gas stations closing.
He said people should also consider restricting non-essential travel.
“It may be the right time to reconsider some travel that is not necessary as we need the highways for the movement of goods,” Fleming said.