Pipeline performance

Results for 2018

In 2018, CEPA members responsibly transported 97 per cent of the oil and natural gas Canada produced, safely delivering energy for Canada and the world.

Natural gas

What is one cubic foot of natural gas equivalent to?

Crude oil

What is one barrel of crude oil equivalent to?

So what causes pipeline incidents?*

  • Third party line strikes when unauthorized digging near pipelines causes damage
  • Reduction in the thickness of a pipe due to corrosion, erosion or other causes (metal loss)
  • Cracking
  • Materials, manufacturing or construction defects

Metal loss, cracking, and materials, manufacturing and construction defects remain the leading causes of pipeline incidents. Collectively, these accounted for 73 per cent of the total incidents over the period from 2014 to 2018.

“Geotechnical” refers to damage by floods or landslides. “External interference” refers to damage by third parties. “Other” refers to control system malfunction, improper operation, lightning, fire and unknown. “Metal loss” is primarily caused by corrosion.

No amount spilled is acceptable, which is why CEPA members work to improve pipeline safety and performance, continuing to drive the decline in incidents.

*To differentiate higher-risk incidents, CEPA has adopted a set of criteria that defines “significant incident.” A significant incident includes one or more of the following: serious injury or fatality, liquid release of greater than 8 cubic metres (50 barrels), unintentional ignition or fire, or rupture or break of a pipeline.

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Incidents

No incident is acceptable, and all CEPA members are committed to achieving zero incidents. There were five significant natural gas incidents and one liquid incident in 2018. Below is a detailed report of the 2018 incidents and how they compare to previous years.

Total rights-of-way incidents (2011–2018)

In 2018 there were 19 incidents on CEPA members’ rights-of-way, six of them categorized as significant. One significant liquid pipeline incident had an estimated release of 113.2 barrels (out of a total liquid release of 175.5 barrels for all incidents). Four of the five significant natural gas incidents resulted in a release of 101.5 million cubic feet (out of current total of 116.6 million cubic feet pending completion of the final report for one incident). The incidents were categorized as significant because the failure mode for each was reported as a rupture. Three were caused by third-party damage, one was caused by cracking, and one is still under investigation.

What is a right-of-way incident?
What is a significant incident?
Does this report include all pipeline incidents?

Natural gas incidents

CEPA member 2014–2018 (rights-of-way incidents)

In 2018, there were 15 unplanned natural gas releases, of which five were significant. The majority of significant incidents were caused by third-party interference.

Liquids incidents

CEPA member 2014–2018 (rights-of-way incidents)

In 2018, there were four liquids incidents, of which one was significant. All 113.2 barrels spilled in the one significant incident were fully recovered.

Natural gas incidents – total product released

CEPA member 2014–2018 (rights-of-way incidents)

In 2018, total unplanned product released from CEPA members’ natural gas pipelines was approximately 116.6 million cubic feet.

*Pending final report from one incident.

What happens to the natural gas in an incident?
Liquids incidents – total product released vs. product recovered

CEPA member 2014–2018 (rights-of-way incidents)

In 2018, a total of 175.5 barrels were released and of those 164.2 barrels were recovered. Some of the 11.3 barrels not recovered dissipated through volatilization (similar to evaporation) and other natural processes. All 113.2 barrels spilled in the one significant incident were fully recovered.

What are recovered barrels of oil?
Locations and causes of the significant incidents in 2018
View the locations and causes of the six significant incidents
1

Pipeline Type: Liquids
Incident Type: Leak
Cause: Material loss
Volume released: 113.2 barrels
Volume recovered: 113.2 barrels
Date: Mar 29, 2018

2

Pipeline Type: Natural gas
Incident Type: Rupture
Cause: External interference by third party
Volume released: 897,000 cubic feet
dissipated into atmosphere
Date: May 24, 2018

3

Pipeline Type: Natural gas
Incident Type: Rupture
Cause: External interference by third party
Volume released: 398,000 cubic feet
dissipated into atmosphere
Date: May 11, 2018

4

Pipeline Type: Natural gas
Incident Type: Rupture
Cause: External interference by third party
Volume released: 13.4 million cubic feet
dissipated into atmosphere
Date: Jan 10, 2018

5

Pipeline Type: Natural gas
Incident Type: Rupture
Cause: Cracking
Volume released: 86.9 million cubic feet
dissipated into atmosphere
Date: Dec 22, 2018

6

Pipeline Type: Natural gas
Incident Type: Rupture
Cause: Pending investigation
Volume released: Pending investigation
Date: Oct 9, 2018

Prevention

Thousands of professionals — including engineers, scientists and environmental experts such as biologists, agrologists and hydrologists — monitor pipelines to protect the environment. From control rooms that can monitor every metre of the pipe to in-line inspection tools that patrol the inside of the pipeline, experts are always watching. Below is a report on the year’s prevention performance and ongoing CEPA initiatives in the area of environmental protection.

In 2018, CEPA member companies conducted 2,665 integrity digs to examine pipelines for defects and make repairs – that’s a total of 29,425 integrity digs since 2008. The number of integrity digs in any given year is not a set number. Each company decides when and where to perform an integrity dig, based on the results of in-line inspections and according to members’ operations and management programs.

What is an integrity dig?

In 2018, CEPA members invested $2 billion in maintenance and monitoring of their Canadian pipeline systems.

In 2018, CEPA members conducted in-line inspection runs on 51,563 kilometres of pipelines in Canada using highly sophisticated tools called smart pigs that examine pipelines from the inside to identify issues such as metal loss, dents and cracks that may require further investigation.

What is an in-line inspection?
What is a smart pig?

In 2018, CEPA members invested $22.6 million in innovative technology focused on reducing pipeline corrosion and improving pipeline inspection, leak detection and damage prevention. From 2014 to 2018, CEPA members’ investment in these kinds of technologies totalled more than $107 million.

Safety

CEPA members deliver the energy Canada and the world need in the safest, most responsible way by making safety the highest priority through an ingrained safety culture and exhaustive emergency planning. Below is a report on the year’s performance and ongoing CEPA initiatives in the area of emergency, health and safety.

In 2018, CEPA members held 452 emergency response exercises, ranging in complexity from emergency drills to full-scale exercises with participation from multiple agencies and jurisdictions, and mobilization of personnel and equipment as if a real emergency had occurred.

In 2018, CEPA members reported 19 releases that occurred on rights-of-way and 12 within facilities. The total incidents decreased 67 per cent from 93 in 2017 to 31 in 2018. Typically, incidents that occur within a pipeline facility pose less potential threat to the public or environment because of their size and the fact that facilities have both restricted public access and a leak containment system to keep the releases within the facility.

CEPA members are focused on ensuring the people directly employed by our industry and the many thousands of contractors who work on their behalf return home safely at the end of the day. Just as CEPA members have committed to a goal of zero pipeline incidents, they also have a goal of zero incidents affecting the health and safety of their employees.

Rate of injury increased by about 14 per cent from 0.43 in 2017 per 100 full-time employees to 0.49 in 2018. The rate of injuries to CEPA members has declined almost 24 per cent over the past five years from 0.64 in 2014 to 0.49 in 2018.

The number of driving incidents per million kilometres driven fell from 2.31 in 2014 to 1.07 in 2018. Incidents decreased from 1.37 in 2017 to 1.07 in 2018, which represents a 22 per cent decrease year over year. CEPA members continue to strengthen efforts in areas such as regular driver training and work planning that ensures workers are not fatigued and have sufficient time to travel the required distances.

  1. The rate per 100 full-time equivalent workers is computed by (a) dividing the number of occupational injuries reported by the total number of hours worked by all employees during the calendar year, and (b) multiplying the result by 200,000, which represents the hours worked in a year by 100 full-time equivalent workers (working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks a year).
  2. The motor vehicle incident rate is the number of motor vehicle incidents per million kilometres driven for business use and is calculated by (a) multiplying the total number of incidents by 1,000,000 and (b) dividing by the total business kilometres driven.

Are pipelines safe?

Yes, they are the safest way to transport the energy Canada and the world need. In fact, Canadian transmission pipelines are among the safest in the world.

In 2018, Canada’s 121,000-kilometre network of transmission pipelines moved 97 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and onshore crude oil production to the people who need it (the other 3 per cent was by rail or truck).

Out of 1.6 billion barrels of oil transported by CEPA members, a total of 11.3 barrels were spilled and couldn’t be recovered. These remaining barrels dissipate through volatilization (similar to evaporation) and other natural processes. While this is only a tiny percentage of oil transported, no amount spilled is acceptable to CEPA members, who work toward a common goal of zero incidents.

CEPA members work together to continuously improve what are already among the highest safety standards, and best safety records, in the world. Over 51,000 kilometres of transmission pipeline were inspected from the inside in 2018, and over 2,600 integrity digs were performed to check any anomalies identified. Hundreds of exercises were performed to ensure CEPA member companies’ emergency response teams are prepared. Over $2 billion was spent on monitoring to ensure that your energy was delivered safely.

Canada and the world will need oil and natural gas long into the future, and you can count on CEPA members to get it to you in the safest, most responsible way.

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