What happened in 2017
117,800 kilometres of transmission pipelines moved 97% of Canada’s natural gas and onshore crude oil production to the people who need it throughout Canada. This is how those transmission pipelines performed in 2017 in terms of safety, environmental protection and socio-economic contribution.
Performance at a glance
Released due to unplanned incidents on rights-of-way (released natural gas quickly dissipates into the air). While the one significant incident was small (21,789 cubic feet), the incident was categorized as significant because the failure mode was a rupture (caused by third-party damage). As a percentage of natural gas shipped compared to released: 0.000049 per cent.
Remaining after initial recovery (7,447 barrels spilled and 7,396 barrels recovered) from total amount of product spilled on rights-of-way. Some of the product not recovered is dissipated through volatilization (similar to evaporation) and other natural processes. Remaining product is removed through remediation. As a percentage of crude oil transported compared to remaining: 0.000004 per cent.
19 Total liquids and natural gas rights-of-way incidents
The information in this report covers incidents on CEPA member rights-of-way (ROW) in Canada for 2017. Our focus is on ROW as they represent close to 100 per cent of the network and present the greatest exposure to the public. There were 19 incidents on our members’ ROW. Two significant liquid pipeline incidents had an estimated liquid release of 7,403.1 barrels (out of a total liquid release of 7,447 barrels for all incidents), which is 99 per cent of total reported liquid releases in 2017. One of these incidents was the result of a pipeline being accidentally ruptured by excavation equipment. The other was caused by metal loss. One significant gas pipeline incident was very small (21,789 cubic feet). The incident was caused by external interference (third-party damage).
Liquids and natural gas incidents
Total incidents includes significant incidents. Only a small percentage of pipeline incidents are severe enough to meet the criteria of “significant.” A significant incident includes one or more of the following that occur on members’ rights-of-way:
- A serious injury or fatality
- A liquid release of greater than 8 cubic metres (50 barrels)
- Produced an unintentional ignition or fire
- Resulted in a rupture or break of a pipeline
The majority of pipeline incidents are minor, such as small pinhole leaks. These minor incidents must be addressed but pose little risk to the public or the environment. All data on incidents can also be accessed from federal and provincial regulators, including the NEB and AER.
“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.
In 2017, there were four liquid pipeline spills, of which two were significant. A total of 7,447 barrels were released and, of those, 7,396 barrels were recovered.
Total unplanned product released from our members’ natural gas pipelines in 2017 was approximately 2.8 million cubic feet (or 79.6 e3m3).
Emergency, health and safety
CEPA members use the latest technology to deliver your energy in the safest, most responsible way, from control rooms that can monitor every metre of pipe to in-line inspection tools that patrol inside the pipeline. In this section, we report on the year’s performance and our ongoing initiatives in the area of improving safety.
In 2017, CEPA members held 542 emergency response exercises, ranging in complexity from emergency drills to full-scale exercises. The exercises included participation of multiple agencies and jurisdictions and mobilization of personnel and equipment as if a real emergency had occurred.
In 2017 our members reported 74 incidents that occurred within facilities and 19 on ROW. 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’s members are focused on ensuring the 13,376 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 our 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.
While the total recordable injury rate (incidents per 100 full-time employees) was slightly higher in 2017 than 2016, the rate of injuries to member employees has declined almost 38 per cent over the past five years. CEPA members have a number of ongoing training programs and safety initiatives to reduce injuries and motor vehicle incidents.
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.
The number of driving incidents per million kilometres driven fell from 2.97 in 2013 to 1.37 in 2017. Incidents increased from 1.26 in 2016 to 1.37 in 2017, 50 per cent of those incidents were bumping a fixed object. CEPA members continue to strengthen efforts in areas such as regular driver training and work planning to ensure workers are not fatigued and have sufficient time to travel the required distances.
Prevention for environmental protection
Thousands of professionals — including engineers, scientists and environmental experts such as biologists, agrologists and hydrologists — work together to protect the environment while delivering your energy. In this section, we report on the year’s performance and our ongoing initiatives in the area of environmental protection.
In 2017, CEPA members invested more than $1.6 billion in maintenance and monitoring of their Canadian pipeline systems.
In 2017, our members conducted in-line inspection runs on 36,882 kilometres of pipelines in Canada using highly sophisticated tools called “smart pigs” that examine a pipeline from the inside to identify features such as metal loss, dents and cracks that may require further investigation. More than 30 per cent of our members’ 117,800 kilometres of pipeline in Canada was inspected by one or more in-line inspection tools in 2017.
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. During an integrity dig, a section of pipeline is excavated to give pipeline operators an up-close view of the pipeline to determine if a repair or replacement is required.
In 2017, our members invested $22.2 million in innovative technology focused on reducing pipeline corrosion and improving pipeline inspection, leak detection and damage prevention. From 2014 to 2017, our members’ investment in these kinds of technologies totalled more than $84.7 million.
Your energy also powers Canada, providing economic benefits to all, including employment, taxes, investment and community development. From small communities that rely on energy for their livelihood to large urban centres that use energy to drive their industry, the contribution is considerable. In this section, we report on the year’s contribution and our ongoing initiatives to benefit communities and Canada’s economy. This data includes Canadian projects and operations.
Invested in community initiatives across Canada, including $4 million to Indigenous communities
In 2017, our members contributed $1.3 billion to government tax revenues, including income, property, motor fuel and carbon taxes.
Of that $1.3 billion in tax revenues, our members paid more than $650 million in 2017 in property taxes to municipalities in communities across Canada where they operate pipelines. In many rural municipalities with transmission pipelines, our industry is the largest single contributor to municipal taxes.
In 2017, CEPA members collectively spent almost $4.1 billion to obtain personnel, services, supplies and equipment from local sources, including $261 million from Indigenous suppliers.
CEPA members directly employed 13,376 (full-time equivalent) employees in Canada in 2017.
CEPA members continue to make significant investments in pipeline infrastructure. Capital expenditures increased by 25 per cent compared to 2016 – to a total of $10 billion in 2017.