Safety and Environmental Performance Dashboard - March 2014

The safety of Canadians and protection of the environment in the construction, operation and abandonment of pipeline facilities regulated by the NEB are the Board’s top priorities, and have been a part of our mandate since 1959. We hold those we regulate accountable so that the safety of Canadians and the environment is protected.

In 2013, the NEB regulated approximately 73,000[1] kilometres of interprovincial and international pipelines. See a map of the NEB’s regulated pipelines. The safety and environmental performance data and information that follows relates to the NEB’s regulated pipelines.

[1] Total kms include pipeline that is approved, under construction, operational, deactivated, decommissioned, and pending abandonment.

Pipeline Incidents

Under the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR), companies must immediately notify the National Energy Board (NEB) of any incident that relates to the construction, operation or abandonment of a pipeline.

Incident means an occurrence that results in:

  • the death of or serious injury to a person;
  • a significant adverse effect on the environment (referred to below as significant adverse effects);
  • an unintended fire or explosion;
  • an unintended or uncontained release of low vapour pressure hydrocarbons (referred to below as Liquid releases) in excess of 1.5 m³;
  • an unintended or uncontrolled release of gas or high vapour pressure hydrocarbons (referred to below as Gas releases); and,
  • the operation of a pipeline beyond its design limits (OBDL).

To enhance the analysis of the reportable incident data, the NEB has separated serious injuries incidents from fatalities, and unintended fires from unintended explosions.

Figure 1: Number of Incidents, 2009-2014

Figure 1: Number of Incidents 2009-2014
Figure 1: Details
  • Figure 1 shows the number of reportable incidents from 2009 through the first three months of 2014. From January through March, 2014 there were 28 reportable incidents under the OPR.
Table 1: Number of Incidents, 2009-2014
Year Total Number of Reportable Incidents
2009 89
2010 106
2011 101
2012 134
2013 97
Jan-Mar 2014 28

Figure 2: Number of Incidents by Type, 2013 vs. 2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 2: Number of Incidents by Type, 2013 vs. 2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 2: Details
  • Figure 2 compares the number of reportable incidents by type in 2013 to the first quarter of 2014.
  • There were no explosions or significant adverse effects incidents in 2013; these have increased to 1 and 3 reportable incidents, respectively.
  • There were no serious injuries, fatalities or operation beyond design limits reported in the first three months of 2014.
  • Most reportable incidents do not result in threats to the safety of people or the environment.
Table 2: Number of Incidents by Type, 2013 vs. 2014 (Jan-Mar)
Year Gas Releases Fires Explosions Serious Injuries Significant Adverse Effects Fatalities Liquid Releases OBDL
2012 70 39 5 6 2 0 2 10
2013 56 14 0 2 0 1 9 15
Jan-Mar 2014 14 5 1 0 3 0 5 0

Figure 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 3: Details
  • There were no serious injuries in the first quarter of 2014.
Table 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Year Serious Injuries
2009 7
2010  
2011 1
2012 6
2013 2
Jan-Mar 2014 0

Figure 4: Number of Fatalities, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 4: Number of Fatalities, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 4: Details
  • There were no fatalities in the first quarter of 2014.
Table 4: Number of Fatalities, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Year Fatalities
2009 0
2010 0
2011 3
2012 0
2013 1
Jan-Mar 2014 0

Figure 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 5: Details
  • There were no operation beyond design limits-related incidents in the first quarter of 2014.
Table 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Year Total
2009 10
2010 20
2011 6
2012 10
2013 15
Jan-Mar 2014 0

Figure 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
 

Figure 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 6: Details
  • There were five reportable fires from January through March. Three of these fires were equipment and electrical-related, one was a tidiness-related issue (a fire began in a cigarette ash receptacle on company property). The other fire related to a pipeline rupture, which did not result in any injuries or wildlife impacts, but did require nearby residents to be temporarily evacuated as a precaution.
  • The only reportable explosion occurred during one of the three equipment and electrical-related fires. There were no injuries or impacts to the environment – the incident occurred on company property.
Table 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Year Fire Explosion
2008 10  
2009 14 2
2010 13 1
2011 22  
2012 39 5
2013 14  
Jan-Mar 2014 5 1

Figure 7: Total Volumes of Liquids Released Vs. Number of Liquid Releases, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 7: Total Volumes of Liquids Released Vs. Number of Liquid Releases, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 7: Details
  • Five reportable liquid releases occurred in the first quarter of 2014 (four were crude oil releases totaling 34.75 m³ and one was an 'other' product release (transmission oil) totaling 2 m³). Three companies reported these five releases and the reasons for the releases are all different.
  • Three of the liquid releases were equipment-related: one was due to a failed flex hose, another occurred during maintenance activities and involved a 2” fitting and the last incident involved a failed gasket. Of the other two incidents, one release was due to a failed electrical component at a compressor station and the other release incident was due to a failure to follow procedures while off-loading oil from a truck.
  • In four of the five incidents the product released was entirely contained within company property. In the remaining incident, a light spray of crude oil was found on top of a layer of snow off company property, all of the released product has been recovered and all offsite impacts were cleaned up.
Table 7: Total Volumes of Liquids Released Vs. Number of Liquid Releases, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Year Total Volume Released (m³) # of Releases
2009 495.05 7
2010 326.50 7
2011 269.00 6
2012 97.44 2
2013 28.98 9
Jan-Mar 2014 36.75 5

Figure 7(a): On/Off Company Property Liquid Releases by Location, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 7(a): On/Off Company Property Liquid Releases by Location, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 7(a): Details
  • With the five liquid releases in 2014, all of which occurred on company property, the total number of on-company property releases from 2009 to the end of March 2014 increased from 28 to 33.
  • One of the releases involved some crude oil spraying from the company’s property onto the top layer of snow on the land adjacent to the pump station.
Table 7(a): On/Off Company Property Liquid Releases by Location, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
On Company Property Off Company Property
33 3

Figure 8: Number of Natural Gas and Other High Vapour Pressure Releases, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 8: Number of Natural Gas and Other High Vapour Pressure Releases, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 8: Details
  • There were 14 reportable natural gas releases from January through March. Of these, 10 were sweet natural gas, 2 were acid gas, 1 sour gas and 1 'other' gas.
  • One sweet natural gas release was a multiple-consequence event in which a reportable fire also occurred. This relates to the rupture event referred to in Figure 6.
Table 8: Number of Natural Gas and Other High Vapour Pressure Releases, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Year Total
2009 49
2010 63
2011 63
2012 70
2013 56
Jan-Mar 2014 14

Please note that ruptures are a type of unintended or uncontrolled liquid or gas release incident. For more detailed information on ruptures, please refer to the Pipeline Ruptures section of the NEB’s website.

Unauthorized Activities

The Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II (PCR) require all NEB-regulated pipeline companies to report every unauthorized activity (UA). UAs are contraventions of the PCR, Part I and are grouped into three categories by NEB staff:

  • Ground disturbance, which includes excavation activities;
  • Encroachment activities, including stockpiling materials (e.g. sand, loam, etc.), building structures or facilities (e.g. sheds, swimming pools, skating rinks, etc.) on the RoW; and,
  • Vehicle crossings in which vehicles or construction equipment operate on or across the RoW without permission.

Figure 9: Number of UAs by Province, 2013-2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 9: Number of UAs by Province, 2013-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 9: Details
  • Approximately three-quarters of the UAs reported between January and March of 2014 occurred in Alberta. The UAs in Alberta included 3 ground disturbances, 3 encroachments and 2 vehicle crossings. The UAs in Ontario and British Columbia were both ground disturbances. The UA in Quebec was a vehicle crossing.
Table 9: Number of UAs by Province, 2013-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Province 2013 Jan-Mar 2014
Alberta 16 8
British Columbia 55 1
Manitoba 3 0
New Brunswick 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0
Ontario 19 1
Quebec 13 1
Saskatchewan 7 0

Figure 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 10: Details
  • The data from January to March shows that ground disturbance continues to be the most prevalent type of UA.
Table 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
  2010 2011 2012 2013 Jan-Mar 2014
Ground Disturbance 86 61 122 97 5
Encroachment 12 7 12 9 3
Vehicle Crossing 6 4 10 7 3

Figure 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
 

Figure 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 11: Details
  • Consistent with trends from 2010 through 2013, contractors continue to be the leading type of violator through the first quarter of 2014, followed by landowners and municipalities.
Table 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
  2010 2011 2012 2013 Jan-Mar 2014
Contractor 62 41 78 70 7
Landowner 37 20 51 34 3
Municipality 4 11 15 9 1

Figure 12: Number of UAs by First-time Vs. Repeat Violators, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)

Figure 12: Number of UAs by First-time Vs. Repeat Violators, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 12: Details
  • The trend in the number of first-time vs. repeat violators appears to shift in the first three months of 2014 as compared to 2010 through 2013, with more repeat violators than first-time violators.
  • However, when comparing January through March of 2014 against the same period in 2013, the same result occurred (i.e., there were more repeat violators than first-time violators).
Table 12: Number of UAs by First-time Vs. Repeat Violators, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
  2010 2011 2012 2013 Jan-Mar 2014
First Time 91 63 124 99 1
Repeat 12 9 18 14 10

Please note: The incident data shown represents a single point in time. As new information becomes available, the incident record is updated and may change certain aspects of the incident record including whether the incident remains reportable under the applicable regulations. Accordingly, the incident data shown is subject to change.

Your comments on the information presented on the Safety and Environmental Performance Dashboard are important to us. Please send any feedback on the content of this page to: dashboard@neb-one-gc.ca. For inquiries, reports or requests on this content, please refer to the NEB’s Contact Us page.

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