Missing ammonium nitrate not missing; Kinder Morgan calls it a clerical error, RCMP say

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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VANCOUVER - The case of two tonnes of missing ammonium nitrate, a chemical that can be used to make explosives, has been solved.
In fact, RCMP say the two one-tonne bags weren't actually missing and instead it was a clerical error made by the terminal company that reported the problem in the first place.
Mounties say Texas-based Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMP) called them late Wednesday to report all 6,000 bags of ammonium nitrate shipped last fall to B.C. from Alberta have been accounted for.
A Kinder Morgan spokeswoman said the company first contacted RCMP on Dec. 31 to report the discrepancy, which was noticed when the bags were being moved from the company's Vancouver Wharves terminal to a different firm's terminal in Surrey, B.C.
The chemical compound was first shipped to North Vancouver from Alberta last fall by an unnamed Kinder Morgan customer.
News on Wednesday that the problem was a clerical one came about a half hour after RCMP first announced the two bags were unaccounted for.
In the short time frame before the case was said to be solved, the threat of the missing chemical compound created a stir in a city about to host the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Security in Vancouver is a huge issue leading up to the Games next month, further heightened by an attempted bombing on a Detroit-bound plane last month that has led to new full-body scanners being installed at airports worldwide.
The question also remains why RCMP delayed releasing the information about the potentially missing materials.
There is also a discrepancy about when Mounties were first contacted by Kinder Morgan.
Sgt. Rob Vermeulen said they were contacted by the energy company just before Christmas.
Vermeulen said the information wasn't released until Wednesday because of the ongoing investigation, which also involved the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team.
RCMP had said earlier Wednesday that there was no evidence to suggest any theft or criminal wrongdoing, and believed it was likely an inventory error.
Ammonium nitrate is commonly used as a high-nitrogen fertilizer for agricultural purposes, but has also been used as an oxidizing agent in explosives. It was part of the explosives used in the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings.
Kinder Morgan said it reported the discrepancy to RCMP as a precautionary measure.
"We knew that we had a reconciliation issue and out of caution we did contact authorities," said company spokeswoman Lexa Hobenshield.
She said the company contacted both the RCMP and Transportation Canada.
She also said the company has been in constant contact with the RCMP since it first reported the issue.
RCMP said they are satisfied that no product is missing and will meet with company representatives tomorrow to review the documentation and source of the discrepancy.
Kinder Morgan is one of the largest pipeline transportation and energy storage companies in North America with about 60,000 kilometres of pipelines and 170 terminals.
It transports, stores and handles such energy products as natural gas, refined petroleum products, crude oil, ethanol, coal and carbon dioxide.
Hobenshield said Kinder Morgan doesn't own any ammonium nitrate or transport it. She said the company's role is storage only.

Organizations: RCMP, Kinder Morgan, NYSE Vancouver Wharves terminal World Trade Center

Geographic location: VANCOUVER, Alberta, Surrey North Vancouver Detroit Oklahoma City North America

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