Trans Mountain’s chief operating officer says the pipeline will likely return to full capacity in late January at “the earliest” as work continues after fallout from torrential rains that the company says will cost tens of millions of dollars.

The pipeline shut down on Nov. 14 as a precaution following floods in the area of Hope, B.C., and came back online last week.

Michael Davies, head of operations at the federally owned company, says the 21-day shutdown marks the longest in the pipeline’s 68-year history.

It is now back up to more than 70 per cent capacity, he says, which allows gas rationing in southern B.C. to end today.

Trans Mountain said in a Dec. 6 release it expected gasoline and crude oil supply levels would “return to normal levels within a week.”

The company, which runs Canada’s only pipeline system carrying oil from Alberta to the West Coast, typically pumps about 300,000 barrels of oil per day between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C.

Davies says 400 crew members remain in the field to stabilize riverbanks, secure pipe and assess further repairs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press