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National Energy Board issues Order regarding pipeline materials

The National Energy Board (NEB) has issued Board Order MO-01-2016 (Order) that directs NEB-regulated companies to identify and report on the potentially substandard materials being used during pipeline construction and operation. Issuance of the Order is not indicative of an imminent risk to pipeline safety, but rather a proactive measure to enhance pipeline safety.

The NEB is aware of circumstances during which materials used in the production of pipe and pipe fittings do not meet Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or other requirements. The prevalence of their use in Canada is currently unknown.

NEB-regulated companies are required to respond to the Order within 60 days with the following information:

  • Identification of all fittings in use that have been manufactured by Canadoil Asia with production originating in Thailand with specific details regarding the fitting type, grade, year of manufacture and location, products transported and maximum operating pressure.
  • Identification of all Grade 550 fittings in use that have been manufactured by EZEflow Group from 2005 to 2008 with specific details regarding the fitting type, year of manufacture and location, product transported and maximum operating pressure.
  • Detailed mitigation measures and timelines to complete an engineering assessment of pipe or fittings known, or suspected, to have substandard material properties.

Additionally, the NEB has issued two Safety Advisories--Safety Advisory 2016-01: Standard for Manufactured Pipe and Fittings and the Potential for Substandard Material Properties and Safety Advisory 2016-02: Thermal Expansion Pipeline Design and Operating Considerations.

The Safety Advisories provide guidance to regulated companies and the pipeline industry to address the use of substandard materials that may not meet material standards and to reinforce the need for companies to consider thermal expansion during pipeline design and operation, respectively.

NEB Board Orders are enforceable. NEB Safety Advisories are issued as guidance to regulated companies and industry in general. 

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