Report shows 19 pipeline incidents in 2018

Nation’s network of transmission pipelines grew to about 121,000 km last year, delivering more than 1.6 billion barrels of crude oil and 5.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media reporter based in CalgaryA report released on Wednesday by the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association says Canada’s vast network of transmission pipelines grew to approximately 121,000 km in 2018, delivering more than 1.6 billion barrels of crude oil and 5.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

And it says there were 19 incidents last year.

“Canadians rely on pipelines to safely deliver the oil and natural gas we use for daily activities such as heating, cooking and fuelling our vehicles,” said Paul Murphy, CEPA board chair and senior vice-president of corporate services at Pembina Pipeline Corp., in a statement. “This report reflects our collective commitment – as an industry – to be a global leader in the safe and responsible delivery of those energy products.”

The incidents were:

  • Four liquids incidents, resulting in a total of 175.5 barrels of oil being released, 94 per cent of which was recovered. One of the liquids incidents is classified as significant because it resulted in a release of more than 50 barrels. All 113.2 barrels spilled in that case were fully recovered. 
  • Fifteen natural gas incidents, five of which are classified as significant because the failure modes were reported as ruptures. Three were caused by third-party damage, one was caused by cracking and one is still under investigation.

“No incident is acceptable, and we won’t be satisfied until we can report zero incidents,” said Chris Bloomer, CEPA president and CEO. “That’s why our members set aside their competitive differences and work together to share knowledge, technology and learnings to continuously improve on what is already one of the best safety records in the world.”

CEPA also reported:

  • 2,665 proactive integrity digs to examine pipelines for defects and make repairs;
  • 51,563 km of in-line inspections completed using highly sophisticated “smart pigs” that examine pipelines from the inside;
  • $2 billion invested in the maintenance and monitoring of pipeline systems;
  • $22.6 million invested in innovative technology focused on reducing pipeline corrosion and improving leak detection and damage prevention;
  • 452 emergency response exercises, ranging in complexity from drills to full-scale exercises.

CEPA consists of Canada’s leading transmission pipeline companies. In 2018, CEPA members were responsible for moving 97 per cent of the oil and natural gas Canada produces through a pipeline network spanning nearly 121,000 km.

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.

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