Lambton oil producers waiting for Imperial pipeline to get back online


In June, workers cleaned up an oil spill from Imperial Oil’s pipeline to Marcus Oil Terminal. Today, the company and Ontario oil producer are still waiting for approval to use the pipeline.


The pipeline which feeds Ontario oil to Imperial Oil still isn’t in use and it’s costing Petrolia and Central Lambton producers a lot of money.

In June, a pinhole-sized leak was found in Imperial Oil’s pipeline from the Marcus Oil Terminal. Officials estimated about 40 to 50 barrels leaked. The oil-soaked soil around the pipeline was cleaned up and the pipeline repaired and inspected but it still isn’t in use. And that means a lot of extra work for local producers.

All oil produced in Ontario goes through the Marcus Oil Terminal. Before the leak, tanker trucks would go to the terminal where oil would be off-loaded into tanks and then sent to the refinery via the pipeline. But Marcus Oil manager John Barnes says while the pipeline is out of commission each truck has to be weighed, tested, emptied and then re-weighed individually at Imperial Oil.

That extra time and work is costing the producers between $85 and $250 for each load of oil, depending on the size of the tanker, says Barnes.

Barnes says the investigation by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority consults with all government agencies and companies before making a decision to restart the line.

Barnes says the pipeline is ready to go but the TSSA and Imperial have yet to reach an agreement on “how they will take care of the pipeline.

“In the meantime, all we can do is truck our oil in.”

Barnes says it may be March before the pipeline is approved for use and adds Imperial is actively working with the TSSA to get back on line. ‘I’m sure they feel a sense of urgency to get this done.”