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CEPA pipeline industry performance report shows reduction in incidents

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The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) has released its sixth annual report highlighting the transmission pipeline industry's performance in the areas of safety, environmental protection and socio-economic contributions.

In 2019, Canada's network of transmission pipelines extended 118,500 kilometres, safely delivering more than 5.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of crude oil.

"Canadian natural gas and oil transmission pipelines have been safely delivering the energy we all rely on every day for more than six decades, but it's during challenging times like these that we truly understand how essential our business is to the well-being of society," said Tracy Robinson, CEPA Board Chair and Executive Vice-President, President Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines and President Coastal GasLink, TC Energy.

The performance report provides a transparent look at the number of incidents along CEPA members' rights-of-way. There were nine incidents in 2019, a decrease of over 50% from the previous year: 

  • Eight unplanned natural gas releases. One incident was classified as significant because it was caused by a rupture. Any released natural gas quickly dissipates into the air.
  • One liquids incident, which was not classified as significant. All 9.4 barrels spilled were fully recovered.

"While we are pleased with the drop in incidents in 2019, no incident is acceptable," said Chris Bloomer, CEPA President and CEO. "CEPA members share best practices and continuously improve on what are already some of the safest, most advanced pipelines in the world, making Canada a global leader in the responsible production and transportation of natural gas and oil."

This year's report - titled "Canadian Energy. For a Responsible Future" - focuses on Canada's role as a global leader in environment, social and governance (ESG) performance. It also looks at the industry's commitment to incident prevention, environmental protection and socio-economic contributions. Highlights from 2019 include:  

  • 2,020 proactive integrity digs to examine pipelines for defects and make repairs.
  • 38,937 kilometres of in-line inspections to examine pipelines for any potential issues.
  • $1.5 billion invested in the maintenance and monitoring of pipeline systems.
  • 393 emergency response exercises, ranging in complexity from drills to full-scale exercises.
  • $2.9 billion spent on personnel, services, supplies and equipment from local sources, including $528 million from Indigenous suppliers.
  • $1.7 billion to government tax revenues, including income, property and carbon taxes.
  • 13,434 full-time equivalent jobs across Canada.

The full 2020 Transmission Pipeline Industry Performance Report is available at https://pr20.cepa.com.

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