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Focus on Safety and Environment - A Comparative Analysis of Pipeline Performance - 2000-2007 [PDF 2352 KB]

Focus on Safety and Environment - A Comparative Analysis of Pipeline Performance - Summary - 2000-2007

Copyright/Permission to Reproduce

July 2009

Photos: Left: Pipe handling hook; Top right: Maple leaves; Bottom right: Moraine Lake, Alberta

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Figures
Tables
List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
Foreword
1. Introduction
1.1 NEB Safety Role
1.2 2000-2007 Pipeline Performance Indicators
1.3 Reference Organizations
2. Pipeline Safety Performance
2.1 Pipeline Fatalities
2.2 Injuries
2.3 Detailed Injury Analysis
2.4 Construction Safety Inspections
2.5 Pipeline Ruptures
2.6 Pipeline Unauthorized Activities in Rights of Way
3. Pipeline Environmental Performance
3.1 Liquid Pipeline Pipe Body Releases
3.2 Liquid Release Frequency Comparisons
3.3 Liquid Release Volume Comparisons
3.4 Operational Liquid Leaks
3.5 Non-Pipeline Liquid Spills
3.6 Gas Releases and Operational Gas Leaks
3.7 Gas Release Frequency Comparison
3.8 Operational Gas Leak Frequency
4. NEB-Regulated Pipeline Performance Indicator Summary
Appendix One - Pipeline Performance Indicator Data

List of Figures and Tables

Figures

Figures
2.1 Fatalities on NEB-Regulated Pipelines
2.2 Injury Frequency
2.3 Liquid Pipeline Injury Frequency
2.4 Gas Pipeline Injury Frequency
2.5 Employee Injury Frequency
2.6 Contractor Injury Frequency
2.7 NEB-Regulated Pipeline Ruptures 2000-2007
2.8 NEB-Regulated Pipeline Rupture Causes by Percent
3.1 Pipe Body Liquid Release Frequency per 1 000 Kilometres
3.2 Pipe Body Release Volume
3.3 Pipeline Operational Liquid Leak Frequency
3.4 Pipe Body Gas Release Frequency Comparison
3.5 Operational Gas Leaks

Tables

Tables
2.1 Contractor Serious Injuries 2000-2007
2.2 Contractor Serious Injury Causes 2000-2007
2.3 NEB Pipeline Construction Safety Inspections
2.4 NEB-Regulated Pipeline Rupture Primary Causes 1991-2007
2.5 Pipeline Rupture Cause Comparison by Percent
2.6 Unauthorized Activities on NEB-Regulated Pipeline Rights of Way 2000-2007
3.1 Pipe Body Liquid Releases 2000-2007
3.2 Liquid Release Reporting Criteria
3.3 Pipeline Operational Leaks
3.4 Non-Pipeline Liquid Spills at Liquid and Gas Pipelines
3.5 Pipeline Gas Releases and Leaks
3.6 Comparison of Gas Release Reporting Criteria
4.1 NEB-Regulated Pipeline Performance Indicator Summary
A1.1 Companies Reporting Performance Indicator Data for 2007
A1.2 NEB-Regulated Pipeline Lengths
A1.3 Pipeline Contractor and Employee Injury Frequency Data
A1.4 Gas and Liquid Pipeline Worker Hours
A1.5 Reference Organization Pipeline Lengths
A1.6 Reference Organization Injury Frequency Data

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations
CAPP Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
CONCAWE European Oil Companies Association for Environment, Health and Safety
CSA Canadian Standards Association
EGIG European Gas Pipeline Incident Data Group
ERCB Energy Resources Conservation Board (formerly Alberta Energy and Utilities Board)
HRSDC Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
NEB National Energy Board
NGL Natural Gas Liquids
OPR-99 Onshore Pipeline Regulations, 1999
PHMSA Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

Foreword

This report, Focus on Safety and Environment: A Comparative Analysis of Pipeline Performance, 2000-2007, examines the number and frequency of various incidents that affect pipeline safety, integrity and the environment. The main objective of this report is to evaluate the pipeline performance of NEB-regulated companies over time and in comparison to pipeline performance in other jurisdictions.

Pipeline trenchThe first of the NEB's annual performance indicators reports, Focus on Safety: A Comparative Analysis of Pipeline Safety Performance, was published in April 2003. This seventh edition of the report includes data from 1 January 2000 through 31 December 2007.

The NEB continually seeks input and feedback from stakeholders on the value of this report and ways it can be improved. Any comments or questions pertaining to this report should be directed to:

In English or French:

Ms. Kim Maddin
Operations Business Unit
National Energy Board
444 Seventh Avenue SW
Calgary, AB
T2P 0X8
Phone: 403-299-2763
Toll Free: 1-800-899-1265
Facsimile: 403-292-5503

1. Introduction

1.1 NEB Safety Role

The NEB regulates 104 oil, gas and product pipeline companies that operate approximately 45 000 kilometres of pipelines across Canada under the National Energy Board Act and the Onshore Pipeline Regulations, 1999 (OPR-99). This mandate carries with it a shared responsibility for the safety of the public, pipeline company workers and the environment.

Vacuum pipe liftThe NEB utilizes a comprehensive, risk based, lifecycle approach to ensure that appropriate actions are taken to identify hazards and that mitigation measures are implemented to reduce risks to as low a level as possible. Risk assessment is based on three elements. The first is an assessment of the adequacy of company safety and environmental management systems through audits. The second is an assessment of adequacy of field implementation through compliance inspections and meetings. The last is an assessment of the effectiveness of company environmental and safety programs through performance indicators.

The NEB gathers information on performance indicators that relate to safety and environmental impacts through both compulsory reporting on an incident basis and on an annual voluntary basis. The performance indicators reported upon relate to:

  • Fatalities;
  • Injuries;
  • Pipeline ruptures;
  • Pipeline contacts;
  • Liquid releases, leaks and spills; and
  • Gas releases.

The voluntary performance data is normalized between companies on the basis of length of pipelines and hours worked. Normalizing of data also allows for comparisons with other agencies. In order to provide a historic trend analysis, the NEB compiles this annual report.

1.2 2000-2007 Pipeline Performance Indicators

In 2001, the NEB began the Safety Performance Indicator Initiative, a voluntary reporting initiative to collect detailed information on injuries, leaks, and spills. The analysis of this voluntary data helps both the NEB and the regulated companies to monitor safety and environmental performance. The information gathered under this initiative is only up to the end of 2007 due to timelines surrounding data collection and analysis.

Industry trends and benchmarking comparisons can provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of safety, integrity and environmental management systems. A list of companies that have voluntarily reported environmental and safety information for 2007 is provided in Appendix One, Pipeline Performance Indicator Data. The hours worked and pipeline kilometres operated were also reported to enable comparisons.

For the purpose of evaluating pipeline construction, operation and maintenance performance, the term "pipeline" includes: all branches, extensions, tanks, reservoirs, storage facilities, pipes, pumps, valves, racks, compressors, storage tanks and loading facilities integral to the operation of a hydrocarbon pipeline.

Pipe in mountainous terrain

1.3 Reference Organizations

Where similar data is available, the NEB conducts a comparative analysis of performance indicators with that of other organizations. This external data is based mainly on publicly available documents provided on websites and in published reports. In some cases, specific data is acquired through direct correspondence with the reference organizations. Some reference organization information used in previous reports has been determined to not be relevant as benchmarks. The following organizations have been selected for comparison in this report:

2. Pipeline Safety Performance

The NEB recognizes the efforts regulated companies and their contractors make to operate safe workplaces in order to prevent fatalities and serious injuries. The nature of the industry and the number of persons working in the industry poses a continuous risk. However, strict attention to safe operating procedures has to be a priority for industry to minimize risk to the public and workers.

2.1 Pipeline Fatalities

Fatality data provided by NEB-regulated pipeline companies are evaluated to determine whether the incident involved employees, contactors or members of the public and whether it involved activities related to the construction, operation or maintenance of pipelines.

Figure 2.1 shows the number and cause of all reported fatalities on NEB-regulated pipelines between 1991 and 2007. There were ten consecutive years in which there were no work-related fatalities on NEB-regulated pipelines even though several hundred kilometres of new pipelines were constructed and existing pipelines expanded. One fatality occurred on NEB-regulated pipelines in 2005, however it was determined to be unrelated to work activities. All fatalities reported between 1991 and 1997 shown in figure 2.1 are contract workers conducting construction activities.

Figure 2.1 - Fatalities on NEB-Regulated Pipelines

Figure 2.1 - Fatalities on NEB-Regulated Pipelines

2.2 Injuries

Since 2000 the NEB has evaluated worker injury data for contractors and employees submitted by regulated companies. Injury frequency data for NEB-regulated pipelines from 2000 to 2007 shown in Figure 2.2 includes all lost time and restricted workday injuries but excludes fatalities. All injury frequencies are measured in terms of injuries per 200 000 hours of work. Work based on 200 000 hours is widely used in the health and safety industry and is equivalent to the number of hours worked by 100 full-time employees in one year.

Figure 2.2 - Injury Frequency

Figure 2.2 - Injury Frequency

1. Worker statistics is a combination of contractor and employee statistics.

Rescue trailersWorker injury frequency has increased from 1.6 injuries per 200 000 hours in 2006 to 1.9 in 2007. The increase in injuries in both 2006 and 2007 is of concern. The greatest contributing factor to this increase is the gas pipeline sector, which accounts for 65 percent of NEB-regulated pipelines and has experienced a large increase in injuries in 2006 and 2007. Although there are twice as many kilometres of gas pipelines than liquid, the total hours worked on gas and liquid pipelines in 2007 are of a similar magnitude. A summary of employee and contractor hours and the number of injuries incurred since 2000 is provided in Appendix One Pipeline Performance Indicator Data.

Factors such as increased construction activity, the level of experience of employees, increasing presssure to meet deadlines and workplace complacency may contribute to the higher frequency of injuries.

2.3 Detailed Injury Analysis

To better understand reported injury frequencies, data has been separated into contractor and employee injury frequencies and by type of pipeline In addition, contractor serious injury types and causes, as well as non-compliances observed by the NEB on construction projects is evaluated. Some of the injury data is further separated into liquid and gas pipeline-related injuries to enable analysis of injury data by sector.

NEB-Regulated Liquid Pipeline Injuries

Liquid pipelines include crude oil, refined product and NGL pipelines. Contractor, employee and worker injury frequencies for NEB-regulated liquid pipelines are illustrated in Figure 2.3. In 2002, there were no contractor or employee injuries reported.

Figure 2.3 - Liquid Pipeline Injury Frequency

Figure 2.3 - Liquid Pipeline Injury Frequency

The employee injury frequency for liquid pipelines has been low for the past four years with a 67 percent reduction in employee injuries in 2007. The contractor injury frequency has been consistently higher than that of company employees and has risen for the past four years. The 2007 contractor injury frequency of 2.4 injuries per 200 000 hours for liquid pipelines is similar to 2006, and is lower than the eight year average of 3.4 injuries per 200 000 hours. The increased rate may be a result of construction undertaken by two major oil pipeline companies in 2007.

NEB-Regulated Gas Pipeline Injuries

The injury frequency for all workers including contractors and employees for NEB-regulated gas pipelines is shown in Figure 2.4.

Figure 2.4 - Gas Pipeline Injury Frequency

Figure 2.4 - Gas Pipeline Injury Frequency

The gas pipeline employee and contractor injury frequency in 2007 increased for the second year in a row to 2.1 and 2.2 injuries per 200 000 hours respectively. It is notable that contractor and employee injury frequencies are consistent on an annual basis for the past four years. No significant construction occurred in 2007 so the contractor injuries are related to operation and maintenance activities.

Employee Injury Frequency Comparisons

Pipeline welderNEB-regulated pipeline employee injury frequency is compared to reference organizations for the period 2000 to 2007 in Figure 2.5. NEB-regulated pipeline companies show a marked increase in the number of employee injuries between 2005 and 2007, while the CAPP frequency decreased. As previously noted the majority of reported employee injuries were in the gas pipeline sector.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) also publishes employee injury frequency data, which includes disabling injuries to employees working in head and regional officesfor all federally regulated workplaces. NEB-regulated pipeline employee injury data does not include head offices. The HRSDC employee injury frequency for 2000 to 2005 ranged from 0.3 to 0.6 injuries per 200 000 hours, a similar range to the NEB frequencies for those years. HRSDC data was not available for 2006 and 2007 at the time of this comparison.

Figure 2.5 - Employee Injury Frequency

Figure 2.5 - Employee Injury Frequency

Contractor Injury Frequency Comparisons

A comparison of contractor injury frequency to the same parameter for the Canadian Association of Pipeline Producers (CAPP) for the period of 2000 to 2007 in Figure 2.6 shows that NEB-regulated pipeline injury frequencies are on average very similar to that reported by CAPP that represents the upstream oil and gas sector. The NEB eight-year average indicates that two out of 100 full time contractor workers are injured every year.

Figure 2.6 - Contractor Injury Frequency

Figure 2.6 - Contractor Injury Frequency

Contractor Serious Injuries

The types of serious injuries incurred by contracted workers on NEB-regulated pipelines between 2000 and 2007 that were reported to the NEB have been categorized as to the type of event and cause in Table 2.1. Serious injury is defined as an injury that results in: the fracture of a major bone; the amputation of a body part; the loss of sight in one or both eyes; internal haemorrhage; third degree burns; unconsciousness; or the loss of a body part or function of a body part. There were no serious injuries reported in 2002. In 2007 two serious injuries occurred which is consistent with the eight year average.

Table 2.1 - Contractor Serious Injuries 2000-2007

Table 2.1 - Contractor Serious Injuries 2000-2007
Type of Event or Exposure Number of Serious Injuries
Contact with Objects & Equipment
Struck by Object 7
Caught in Object 3
Struck against Object 1
Contact with Electricity 2
Other 0
Falls  
Fall on Same Level 0
Fall to Lower Level 2
Other 0
Transportation Accidents 1
Fire and Explosions 0
Total Number of Serious Injuries 16

The NEB has conducted further analysis on the causes of incidents, particularly in relation to contractors as shown in Table 2.2. The NEB is aware that the historic contractor injury frequency is on average higher than that for employees. However, the Board believes that injury frequencies within employee and contractor populations should be similar. The frequency of hazard exposure among contractors may be greater than for employees but protective measures, safety programs and worker training should be designed to mitigate the increased risks.

Table 2.2 - Contractor Serious Injury Causes 2000-2007

Table 2.2 - Contractor Serious Injury Causes 2000-2007
Direct Causes 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Total
Substandard Acts Improper position for task   1     1       2
Improper placement 1 1   1     1   4
Using equipment improperly   1       1     2
Failure to warn 1               1
Failure to secure       1       2 3
Failure to follow procedures           1     1
Substandard Conditions Hazardous environmental conditions           1     1
Inadequate sign or label         1       1
Total Injuries 2 3 0 2 2 3 1 2 13
Basic Causes                  
Job Factors Inadequate leadership / supervision 1 2             3
Inadequate tools and equipment       1       1 2
Inadequate work standards       1 1       2
Inadequate engineering           1   1 2
Personal Factors Poor Judgment   1       1 1   3
Lack of knowledge           1     1
Improper motivation 1       1       2
Total Injuries 2 3 0 2 2 3 1 2 15

2.4 Construction Safety Inspections

As part of its activities to monitor compliance with the OPR-99 and other safety regulations, the NEB regularly inspects pipeline construction projects. The safety non-compliances observed during inspections are most often corrected immediately on-site. They are recorded and tracked so that special attention is paid by the NEB and companies to those non-compliances which are commonly observed (Table 2.3). In this way, both the NEB and its regulated companies are able to employ a proactive approach to incident prevention and help encourage the development of a safety culture at all construction sites.

Table 2.3 - NEB Pipeline Construction Safety Inspections

Table 2.3 - NEB Pipeline Construction Safety Inspections
Type of Non-Compliance 2006 2007
Personal Protective Equipment    
Hearing Protection 1 1
Face Shields or Safety Glasses 5 2
Hard Hats 2 3
High Visibility Vests 1 2
Unsafe Work Practices    
Riding Suspended Pipe/Straddling Pipe 4 0
Pinch Points 3 1
Guidelines/Tag Lines 1 0
Explosion Hazard 0 3
Ingress/Egress 0 0
MSDS 1 2
Danger Zones 1 1
Scaffolding 0 1
Total Number of Non-compliances Observed 19 16
Number of NEB Construction Safety Inspections Conducted 14 25

The NEB increased its pipeline construction inspections in 2007 to monitor and evaluate field activities so as to better understand and communicate to the industry the measures that can be taken to improve worker safety. The inspections found that non-compliances decreased for the second consecutive year.

2.5 Pipeline Ruptures

Ruptures are defined as a "loss of containment event that immediately impairs the operation of a pipeline". Pipeline ruptures have the potential to be severely detrimental to the environment as well as the safety of the public and workers. The NEB investigates and analyses ruptures to determine primary causes. The number of ruptures and their primary cause since 1991 for all NEB-regulated pipelines as shown in Figure 2.7 is considered to be both a safety and environment performance indicator.

Figure 2.7 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Ruptures 2000-2007

Figure 2.7 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Ruptures 2000-2007

Pipeline ruptureBetween 1991 and 2002, there was an average of 2.5 ruptures per year. Beginning in 1999, companies were required under the OPR-99 to have pipeline integrity management programs. The proactive nature and the evolution of individual company integrity management programs may be responsible for the decline in ruptures since 2002. However, in 2007 there were two ruptures on liquid pipelines. One rupture occurred when a third party struck a crude oil pipeline. The other rupture was caused by cracking due to fatigue.

Table 2.4 and Figure 2.8 provide a breakdown of reported ruptures on NEB-regulated pipelines and their primary causes. The primary cause of ruptures on NEB-regulated pipelines between 1991 and 2007 was corrosion due to cracking and metal loss. Cracking includes hydrogen-induced and mechanical damage delayed cracking, stress corrosion, and corrosion fatigue. Metal loss includes both internal and external corrosion. The category of "Other Causes" includes improper operation, fire and yet to be determined causes.

Table 2.4 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Rupture Primary Causes 1991-2007

Table 2.4 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Rupture Primary Causes 1991-2007
Year Number of Ruptures Primary Causes
Metal Loss Cracking External Interference Material, Manufacturing or Construction Geo-
technical Failure
Other Causes
1991 3   2   1    
1992 3 1 1       1
1993 1     1      
1994 6 2 1     1 2
1995 4 1 3        
1996 3 2 1        
1997 2 1       1  
1998 1           1
1999 1   1        
2000 1       1    
2001 2 1 1        
2002 3   1       2
2003 0            
2004 0            
2005 0            
2006 0            
2007 2   1 1      
% 100 25 38 6 6 6 19
Total 32 8 12 2 2 2 6

Figure 2.8 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Rupture Causes by Percent

Figure 2.8 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Rupture Causes by Percent

Some pipelines of specific vintage and of certain construction methods have experienced a higher rupture frequency than others.[1] A number of factors have contributed to the absence of ruptures on new pipelines, including the quality of pipeline coatings and cathodic protection, new construction methods, effective pressure testing and well-developed integrity management programs.

[1] Jeglic, F. Analysis of Ruptures and Trends on major Canadian Pipeline Systems. National Energy Board, Calgary, Canada, 2004.

Rupture Cause Comparisons

The cause of NEB-regulated pipeline ruptures is compared to those reported by the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB), the United States Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the European Gas Pipeline Incident Data Group (EGIG) since 1991 in Table 2.5. While each organization has different timeframes over which they have examined rupture causes, annual evidence from these organizations suggests that the leading cause of ruptures generally remains constant over time within each organization.

Table 2.5 - Pipeline Rupture Cause Comparison by Percent

Table 2.5 - Pipeline Rupture Cause Comparison by Percent
Rupture Cause EGIG
(1970-2007)
EUB
(2000-2007)
NEB
(1991-2007)
PHMSA
(1987-2007)
Corrosion 15 7 63 23
External Interference 50 49 6 24
Material (Manufacturing or Construction) 17 28 6 20
Geotechnical 7 2 6 5
Other Causes 11 15 19 29
Total (Percent) 100 100 100 100

To facilitate a more representative comparison between organizations with different reporting criteria, ruptures caused by metal loss and cracking, as defined by CSA Z662, have been combined and compared to ruptures caused by corrosion. Ruptures brought on by natural causes were compared with geotechnical and other causes. In contrast to the NEB, the leading cause of ruptures reported in other jurisdictions is external interference. Because of differences in pipeline content and purpose (i.e., gathering, transmission, distribution), exact comparisons are difficult, which may account for differences in rupture or failure modes. The density of the ERCB-regulated pipeline network coupled with high levels of construction in the Alberta oil and gas sector may account for higher external interference rates in Alberta.

2.6 Pipeline Unauthorized Activities in Rights of Way

Unauthorized activities reported under the NEB Pipeline Crossing Regulations (Part I and Part II) include actions that have the potential to damage a pipeline or that may impede access to a pipeline for the purposes of maintenance or emergency response. As noted previously external interference is a leading cause of ruptures in many jurisdictions.

Unauthorized activities or events considered to be indicators related to pipeline integrity include:

  • movement of vehicles or equipment over pipelines;
  • construction activities with no soil disturbance;
  • construction, landscaping, or grading that results in soil disturbance; and
  • construction, landscaping, or grading that results in pipeline contact.

The total number of unauthorized activities in rights of way between 2005 and 2007 has stabilized at approximately 70 per year. This is above the eight-year average of 53 per year (Table 2.6). The number of pipeline contacts is consistently low, ranging from one to two per year. This is less than 5 percent of the total number of unauthorized activities. Increasing urban encroachment on pipeline rights of way is a growing concern and may result in an increased number of unauthorized activities along rights of way.

Table 2.6 - Unauthorized Activities on Rights of Way

Table 2.6 - Unauthorized Activities on Rights of Way
Year Activities With No Soil Disturbance Actvities With Soil Disturbance Pipeline Contacts Total
Landowner Contractor Landowner Contractor Land-
owner
Contrac-
tor
2000 5 0 12 26 0 2 45
2001 7 0 14 27 1 0 49
2002 2 0 7 13 0 1 23
2003 9 4 7 30 2 0 52
2004 4 2 12 33 1 1 53
2005 11 2 20 37 0 1 71
2006 6 4 23 32 0 1 66
2007 8 9 28 21 0 2 68
Average 7 3 15 27 0.5 0.5 53

3. Pipeline Environmental Performance

3.1 Liquid Pipeline Pipe Body Releases

to harm wildlife, aquatic life, vegetation and contaminate surface water supplies. It may also percolate to groundwater where water supplies may also be affected. As a performance indicator, any pipe body failure (including ruptures and leaks) resulting in a release of liquid having a volume greater than 1.5 m³ meets the NEB OPR-99 reporting requirements (Table 3.1). Liquid releases of volumes less than 1.5 m³ are not considered reportable incidents under the OPR-99. However, data regarding liquid releases of volumes less than 1.5 m³ were requested under the voluntary reporting initiative.

Table 3.1 - Pipe Body Liquid Releases 2000-2007

Table 3.1 - Pipe Body Liquid Releases 2000-2007
Year Number
>1.5 m³
Volume
(m³)
2000 0 0
2001 2 3 650
2002 2 52
2003 0 0
2004 0 0
2005 2 254
2006 4 39
2007 2 1 182

Sideboom stringing pipeNEB-regulated pipelines experienced very few pipe body liquid releases over the period from 2000 to 2005. There were no liquid releases in 2000, 2003 or 2004 from NEB-regulated pipelines. Overall, NEB-regulated liquid pipelines have an eight year average of 0.05 pipe body liquid releases per 1 000 kilometres or one reportable leak per 20 000 kilometres of pipe. However there were two liquid pipe body releases in 2007, both of which were ruptures that released a significant volume of fluid. One rupture caused significant effects on a marine environment and personal property. The site of this spill has been cleaned up to remove immediate risks to the public and the environment and the Board is monitoring the ongoing remediation of any residual contamination. The second rupture released oil beneath a prairie wetland. In this case, the contaminated areas have been remediated to NEB's satisfaction. In the case of a spill, leak or major release, the Board's role is to ensure that the companies responsible conduct environmental site assessments and clean up any contamination at the spill sites. The NEB continues to monitor situations where remediation of residual soil or groundwater contamination is ongoing.

3.2 Liquid Release Frequency Comparisons

The liquid release frequency from pipe bodies for NEB-regulated liquid pipelines was compared to that of reference organizations in Figure 3.1. It is important to consider that reporting criteria for liquid releases may vary slightly from organization to organization as shown in Table 3.2. In an effort to make the comparison as meaningful as possible, data from PHMSA and CONCAWE have been sorted to consider only incidents which meet NEB reporting criteria.

Figure 3.1 - Pipe Body Liquid Release Frequency per 1 000 Kilometres

Figure 3.1 - Pipe Body Liquid Release Frequency per 1 000 Kilometres

Table 3.2 - Liquid Release Reporting Criteria

Table 3.2 - Liquid Release Reporting Criteria
Organization Liquid Release Reporting Requirements
NEB Any unintended or uncontained release of liquid hydrocarbons associated with pipe body failure and a release volume in excess of 1.5  m³.
PHMSA Loss of 8 or more cubic metres or where property damage costs exceed $50,000 USD and after 7 February 2002; a release of 19 litres or more.
CONCAWE The minimum spill size has been set at 1 m³ for reporting purposes unless there are exceptional serious safety/environmental consequences as a result of a less than 1 m³ spill.

NEB-regulated pipelines have had fewer pipe body liquid releases than in other jurisdictions in every year prior to 2006. This may be due, in part, to the higher frequency of pipeline contacts by third parties experienced by PHMSA. In 2007 NEB-regulated companies reached an eight year high frequency of 0.28 releases per 1 000 km. The CONCAWE data is not available for 2007.

3.3 Liquid Release Volume Comparisons

A single large rupture or break can have a significant impact on the liquid release volume performance indicator. This is particularly evident in Figure 3.2 where in 2001, large events caused this indicator's upper range to be in excess of 200 m³ per 1 000 km of liquid pipelines. As previously mentioned, NEB facilities had two major releases from ruptures that increased the reported volume for 2007.

Figure 3.2 - Pipe Body Release Volume

Figure 3.2 - Pipe Body Release Volume

3.4 Operational Liquid Leaks

Operational leaks on liquid pipelines are product leaks associated with pipeline operations and originate from pipeline components such as flanges, valves, pumps and storage tanks. These leaks are usually contained within fenced pipeline facilities and exclude leaks from pipe bodies. Most of these leaks are less than 1.5 m³ in volume as shown in Table 3.3.

Table 3.3 - Pipeline Operational Leaks

Table 3.3 - Pipeline Operational Leaks
Year Number
(≤1.5 m³)
Number
(>1.5 m³)
Total
Number
Total Volume
(m³)
2000 42 2 44 102
2001 15 4 19 279
2002 38 9 47 1 184
2003 43 1 44 13
2004 57 5 62 34
2005 48 3 51 1 269
2006 25 7 32 322
2007 26 4 30 129

The frequency of liquid leaks from non-pipe body sources has a eight year average of approximately three leaks per 1 000 km of pipeline. Figure 3.3 shows that the frequency in 2007 was the same as the five year low reported in 2006.

Figure 3.3 - Pipeline Operational Liquid Leak Frequency

Figure 3.3 - Pipeline Operational Liquid Leak Frequency

A large liquid leak (1 075 m³) occurred in 2002 at a pump station and a large leak (950 m³) occurred in 2005 at an oil terminal. This resulted in a high total leak volume for those years. On average, approximately 44 leaks per year are reported on NEB-regulated pipeline systems. Much like pipe body releases, a single large leak from other pipeline components can have a significant impact on total annual leak volume. No reference organizations publish a liquid leak frequency comparable to that of the NEB.

3.5 Non-Pipeline Liquid Spills

Liquid spills are associated with pipeline construction, maintenance and operations on both liquid and gas pipelines. These spills include small volumes of hydraulic, lubrication, valve operator fluids or equipment fuels, but exclude product leaks from liquid pipeline systems (Table 3.4).

Table 3.4 - Non-Pipeline Liquid Spills at Liquid and Gas Pipelines

Table 3.4 - Non-Pipeline Liquid Spills at Liquid and Gas Pipelines
Year Number
(≤1.5 m³)
Number
(>1.5 m³)
Total Number Total Volume
(m³)
2000 227 0 227 16
2001 28 1 29 3
2002 25 0 25 2
2003 48 1 49 5
2004 64 1 65 4
2005 47 1 48 12
2006 125 0 125 3
2007 36 0 36 2

High levels of construction activity in 2000 caused a significant number of reported spills. Overall, the average volume per spill is small, with the eight-year average being 0.6 m³ per spill. The number of spills and volumes were lower than average for 2007 with only 36 spills with a reported volume of less than 2 m³.

3.6 Gas Releases and Operational Gas Leaks

Gas releases are the result of pipe body failures and include both ruptures and leaks. Operational gas leaks occur through equipment, including venting from valves and seepage at flanges through gaskets.

The data presented in Table 3.5 does not include the intentional release of gas such as during venting or planned blowdowns. All unplanned, unintended or uncontrolled gas leaks from NEB-regulated pipelines must be reported and there is no minimum reportable volume.

Table 3.5 - Pipeline Gas Releases and Leaks

Table 3.5 - Pipeline Gas Releases and Leaks
Year Pipe Body
Gas Releases
Operational Pipeline
Gas Leaks
2000 1 24
2001 1 23
2002 2 11
2003 0 11
2004 4 19
2005 4 18
2006 1 22
2007 3 58

3.7 Gas Release Frequency Comparison

A comparison is made between the frequency of gas releases from NEB-regulated gas pipelines and EGIG regulated gas pipelines in Figure 3.4. The gas release reporting criteria for EGIG and the NEB are summarized in Table 3.6.

The eight-year average of the gas pipe body release frequency for NEB-regulated pipelines was approximately 0.08 releases per 1 000 km or one gas release per 12 500 km. NEB gas release frequencies were lower than the EGIG frequencies until 2007. The average NEB-regulated pipe body release frequency for 2007 was 0.11 per 1 000 km.

Figure 3.4 - Pipe Body Gas Release Frequency Comparison

Figure 3.4 - Pipe Body Gas Release Frequency Comparison

Table 3.6 - Comparison of Gas Release Reporting Criteria

Table 3.6 - Comparison of Gas Release Reporting Criteria
Organization Gas Release Reporting Requirements
NEB Any unintended or uncontrolled release of natural gas.
EGIG Any unintentional release of gas from an onshore pipeline operating at greater than 1500 kPa outside of the fenced boundaries of installations and excluding all components except the pipe.

3.8 Operational Gas Leak Frequency

At a frequency of approximately 0.75 leaks per 1 000 km, operational gas leaks on NEB-regulated gas pipelines occur about 10 times more often than pipe body gas releases.

Due to the differences in reporting requirements for gas leaks between the NEB and other agencies no comparison is made for operational leaks. Figure 3.5 shows that 2007 had much higher than normal gas leaks. A review of the occurrences is being conducted.

Figure 3.5 - Operational Gas Leaks

Figure 3.5 - Operational Gas Leaks

4. NEB-Regulated Pipeline Performance Indicator Summary

In summary, voluntary reporting by pipeline companies for 2007 showed that several performance indicators did not improve since 2006 (Table 4.1). Safety indicators of concern include contractor injury frequency and a corresponding increase in injury frequency on gas pipeline systems. Two pipeline ruptures were notable occurrences given the lack of ruptures for the previous four years. The safety performance indicators that remained stable were fatalities, employee injuries and injuries on liquid pipelines.

Table 4.1 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Performance Indicator Summary

Table 4.1 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Performance Indicator Summary
Performance Indicator 2006 2007 Historical
Average
2000-2007
Number of Fatalities
(employee, contractor and third party)
0 0 0
Worker Injury Frequency
(injuries per 200 000 hours)
1.5 1.9 1
Contractor Injury Frequency
(injuries per 200 000 hours)
1.6 2.3 2
Employee Injury Frequency
(injuries per 200 000 hours)
1.5 1.5 0.7
Liquid Pipeline Worker Injury Frequency
(injuries per 200 000 hours)
1.6 1.6 1.5
Gas Pipeline Worker Injury Frequency
(injuries per 200 000 hours)
1.5 2.2 1
Total Number of Pipeline Ruptures 0 2 1
Total Number of Pipeline Contacts 1 2 1.5
Pipe Body Liquid Release Frequency
(liquid releases per 1 000 km)
0.3 0.3 0.1
Pipe Body Liquid Release Volume Frequency
(m3 of liquid released per 1 000 km)
2.5 82 41
Number of Operational Liquid Leaks
(on liquid pipelines)
32 30 41
Operational Liquid Leak Frequency
(liquid leaks per 1 000 km liquid pipelines)
2 2 3
Number of Non-pipeline Spills
(construction & maintenance liquid spills)
125 36 76
Pipe Body Gas Release Frequency
(gas releases per 1 000 km gas pipelines)
0.0 0.1 0.1
Number of Operational Gas Leaks (on gas pipelines) 22 58 23
Operational Gas Leak Frequency
(leaks per 1 000 km gas pipelines)
0.8 2.2 1
Total Number of Incidents
(reportable under the OPR-99)
37 49 39

From an environmental protection perspective the number of non-pipeline spills significantly decreased and the number of liquid leaks remained stable. Only the volume of oil released from two ruptures and an increase in the number of minor operational leaks showed a decrease in environmental performance for 2007 over 2006.

Appendix 1 - Pipeline Performance Indicator Data

Performance Indicator data for the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2007 was submitted voluntarily to the NEB from companies owning or operating approximately 93% of the total length of pipelines regulated by the NEB under the National Energy Board Act. Companies typically report on all NEB-regulated pipelines systems that they own. The following tables provide raw data from those companies that reported on pipeline length worker hours and injuries. In addition, reference organization data on pipeline lengths and injury frequency is listed here.

Table A1.1 - Companies Reporting Performance Indicator Data for 2007

Table A1.1 - Companies Reporting Performance Indicator Data for 2007
Alliance Pipeline Ltd.
ATCO 6720471 Canada Inc.
BP Canada Energy Company
Canadian Montana Pipeline Company
Canadian Natural Resources Limited
Corporation Champion Pipeline
Enbridge Inc.
EnCana Corporation
Energy Fundamentals Group
Harvest Operations Corp.
Kaiser Exploration Ltd.
Kinder Morgan Canada Inc.
Manitoba Hydro
Montreal Pipe Line Limited
Niagara Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL)
NOVA Chemicals
NuVista Energy Ltd.
Omimex Canada Ltd.
Paramount Resources
Pengrowth Corporation
Plains Midstream Canada
Provident Energy
Spectra Energy Gas Transmission
St. Clair Pipelines Inc.
Suncor Energy Inc.
Terasen Gas Inc.
TransCanada PipeLines Limited
Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc.
Trans Quebec & Maritimes Pipelines Inc.
Union Gas Limited
Vector Pipeline Limited Partnership

Table A1.2 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Lengths

Table A1.2 - NEB-Regulated Pipeline Lengths
Year Number of
Kilometres
Reported on
Total
Kilometres
Regulated
2000 39 190 42 919
2001 42 670 42 968
2002 41 555 43 124
2003 42 189 43 252
2004 41 386 43 371
2005 41 270 43 440
2006 41 420 43 530
2007 40 642 43 734

Table A1.3 - Pipeline Contractor and Employee Injury Frequency Data

Table A1.3 - Pipeline Contractor and Employee Injury Frequency Data
Year Contractor
Hours
Employee
Hours
Contractor
Injuries
Employee
Injuries
2000 6 255 390 7 034 954 55 6
2001 1 606 271 4 827 678 40 18
2002 1 357 577 5 103 983 13 4
2003 788 466 4 869 253 12 16
2004 1 573 743 4 722 044 9 12
2005 1 218 350 4 925 620 7 15
2006 2 140 650 3 811 330 28 29
2007 2 918 420 2 850 195 33 22

Table A1.4 - Gas and Liquid Pipeline Worker Hours

Table A1.4 - Gas and Liquid Pipeline Worker Hours
Year Liquid Pipeline Gas Pipeline Total
2000 1 124 735 12 165 609 13 290 344
2001 1 808 947 4 625 003 6 433 950
2002 1 822 637 4 638 923 6 461 560
2003 1 655 670 4 002 049 5 657 719
2004 1 615 406 4 680 381 6 295 787
2005 1 398 649 4 745 321 6 143 969
2006 1 625 244 4 326 736 5 951 979
2007 2 707 357 3 061 257 5 768 614

Table A1.5 - Reference Organization Pipeline Lengths

Table A1.5 - Reference Organization Pipeline Lengths
Year Organization Kilometres
of Gas
Pipeline
Kilometres
of Hydrocarbon
Liquid Pipeline
Total
Reported
Kilometres
2000 NEB 25 970 13 220 39 190
2000 ERCB 229 034 16 410 245 444
2000 PHMSA 524 000 249 020 773 020
2000 EGIG 110 236 0 110 236
         
2001 NEB 26 510 16 170 42 680
2001 ERCB 245 466 16 818 262 284
2001 PHMSA 479 800 255 060 734 860
2001 EGIG 110 236 0 110 236
         
2002 NEB 26 752 14 803 41 555
2002 ERCB 255 032 17 118 272 150
2002 PHMSA 526 007 258 409 784 899
2002 EGIG 109 524 0 109 524
         
2003 NEB 26 943 15 245 42 189
2003 ERCB 268 549 17 391 285 940
2003 PHMSA 522 020 258 892 780 912
2003 EGIG 114 285 0 114 285
         
2004 NEB 27 146 14 812 41 958
2004 ERCB 288 388 17 793 306 181
2004 PHMSA 518 283 270 262 788 545
2004 EGIG 122 168 0 122 168
         
2005 NEB 27 002 14 269 41 270
2005 ERCB 305 274 18 019 323 534
2005 PHMSA 522 960 266 493 789 452
2005 EGIG not available not available not available
         
2006 NEB 28 080 15 530 43 610
2006 ERCB 32 1940 18 140 340 086
2006 PHMSA 515 108 264 935 780 043
2006 EGIG not available not available not available
         
2007 NEB 26 275 14 368 40 642
2007 PHMSA 479 872 255 302 735 174
2007 CONCAWE not available not available not available
2007 EGIG 129 719 0 129 719
2007 ERCB 331 891 18 568 350 459

Table A1.6 - Reference Organization Injury Frequency Data

Table A1.6 - Reference Organization Injury Frequency Data
Year Source* Contractor
Injury
Frequency
Employee
Injury
Frequency
Worker
Injury
Frequency
2000 NEB 176 0.17 0.92
2000 HRSDC not available 0.51 not available
2000 CAPP 3.13 1.05 2.49
         
2001 NEB 4.98 0.75 1.80
2001 HRSDC not available 0.56 not available
2001 CAPP 2.61 0.89 2.06
         
2002 NEB 1.92 0.16 0.53
2002 HRSDC not available 0.30 not available
2002 CAPP 1.86 1.02 1.64
         
2003 NEB 3.04 0.66 0.99
2003 HRSDC not available 0.33 not available
2003 CAPP 2.15 1.34 1.80
         
2004 NEB 1.14 0.51 0.67
2004 HRSDC not available 0.42 not available
2004 CAPP 1.90 1.00 1.64
         
2005 NEB 1.15 0.61 0.72
2005 HRSDC not available 0.32 not available
2005 CAPP 1.74 0.95 1.52
         
2006 NEB 1.59 1.52 1.55
2006 HRSDC not available not available not available
2006 CAPP 1.74 0.83 1.48
         
2007 NEB 2.26 1.54 1.54
2007 CAPP 1.31 0.8 1.15
2007 HRSDC not available not available not available
* CAPP data is for Total Recordable Injury Frequency and includes fatalities and medical treatment cases, which are not included in the NE B data.
Construction right of way
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