Last week, the company encountered technical issues during the pipeline pullback activity for the Mountain 3 horizontal directional drill


The Trans Mountain expansion project is now expected to begin operations in Q2 2024. (Credit: Trans Mountain Corporation)

Trans Mountain said that the completion C$30.9bn ($23.04bn) Trans Mountain expansion project in Canada has been further delayed.

According to the Canadian government-owned midstream firm, technical issues were encountered during the pipeline pullback activity for the Mountain 3 horizontal directional drill (HDD) last week.

Owing to the issues, additional time will be now needed for assessing the safest and most prudent measures to minimise further delays.

Trans Mountain stated that it is completely focused on completing the pipeline expansion with an aim to bring it into service in Q2 2024.

In early December 2023, the company announced that it had received a ruling from the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) rejecting its variance request for the Mountain 3 horizontal directional drill (HDD) in the Fraser Valley, spanning from Hope to Chilliwack, British Columbia.

At that time, the company said that it had completed more than 97.8% of construction on the Trans Mountain expansion project.

The original 1,150km long oil products pipeline was constructed in 1953 between Alberta and British Columbia.

The expansion project involves a twinning of the existing pipeline between Strathcona County, near Edmonton in Alberta and Burnaby in British Columbia. It will create a 980km long pipeline system to increase the capacity of the original Trans Mountain system from approximately 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day.

The project also involves the construction of 12 new pump stations and the addition of 19 new tanks to the existing storage terminals in Burnaby, Sumas, and Edmonton.

Approved by the Canadian government in June 2019, the Trans Mountain expansion project broke ground in December of the same year.

The new pipeline, which is designed to transport both heavier oils and light crude oils, was originally slated to begin operations in Q1 2024.