Safety and Environmental Performance Dashboard - September 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: Total Number of Events Resulting in Reportable Incidents 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)

Figure 1: Total Number of Events Resulting in Reportable Incidents 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 1: Details
  • Figure 1 shows the number of events which occurred from 2008 through the first nine months of 2014 that resulted in a reportable incident (or incidents). From January through September of 2014 there were 59 events reported under the OPR; 57 events had a single reportable incident and 2 events had multiple reportable incidents. An event resulting in both a fire and a serious injury is an example of an event with multiple reportable incidents. Figure 2 breaks out each of these incident types by year.
Table 1: Total Number of Events Resulting in Reportable Incidents 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Year Single Reportable Incident Event Multiple Reportable Incident Event Total Events
2008 50 0 50
2009 82 4 86
2010 104 1 105
2011 97 2 99
2012 121 5 126
2013 89 5 94
Jan-Sep 2014 57 2 59

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

Figure 2: Number of Incidents by Type, 2013 vs. 2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 2: Details
  • Figure 2 compares the number of reportable incidents by type in 2013 to the first nine months of 2014.
  • There were no significant adverse effects on the environment incidents in 2013. There were 2 of this incident type in the first nine months of 2014; one related to a leak of glycol on company property while performing integrity testing on the compressor station glycol lines, and the other involved the loss of 0.06 m³ of lube oil into the Peace River.
  • There were no serious injuries or fatalities reported in the first nine 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-Sep)
Year Gas Releases Fires Explosions Serious Injuries Significant Adverse Effects Fatalities Liquid Releases OBDL
2012 70 39 5 6 0 0 2 10
2013 56 14 0 2 0 1 9 15
Jan-Sep 2014 36 14 0 0 2 0 6 3

Figure 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)

Figure 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 3: Details
  • There were no serious injuries in the first nine months of 2014.
Table 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Year Serious Injuries
2008 3
2009 8
2010 0
2011 1
2012 6
2013 2
Jan-Sep 2014 0

Figure 4: Number of Fatalities, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)

Figure 4: Number of Fatalities, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 4: Details
  • There were no fatalities in the first nine months of 2014.
Table 4: Number of Fatalities, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Year Fatalities
2008 2
2009 0
2010 0
2011 3
2012 0
2013 1
Jan-Sep 2014 0

Figure 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)

Figure 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 5: Details
  • There were three incidents related to operation beyond design limits in the first nine months of 2014 as follows:
    • One was related to electrical problems at a valve site, causing the pipeline to shut down suddenly;
    • One involved an over-pressure in a sample cylinder in a company’s manifold sample building; and,
    • One involved an over-pressure in a pipeline junction and the service was subsequently returned to normal.
Table 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Year Total
2008 0
2009 10
2010 20
2011 6
2012 10
2013 15
Jan-Sep 2014 3

Figure 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep) 

Figure 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 6: Details
  • There were 14 reportable fires from January through September as follows:
    • Seven fires were equipment and electrical-related;
    • Two fires were related to tidiness (i.e., one fire began in a cigarette ash receptacle on company property and another fire resulted from an unextinguished cigarette being placed in a garbage pail);
    • Two fires were related to lightning strikes.
    • One fire was 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;
    • One fire was caused by a propane leak from a tiger torch during welding; and,
    • One fire was in a vent stack at a compressor station, which self-extinguished when the valve to the vent was closed.
Table 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Year Fire Explosion
2008 10  
2009 14 2
2010 13 1
2011 22  
2012 39 5
2013 14  
Jan-Sep 2014 14  

Figure 7: Total Volumes of Liquids Released Vs. Number of Liquid Releases, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)

Figure 7: Total Volumes of Liquids Released Vs. Number of Liquid Releases, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 7: Details
  • Six reportable liquid releases occurred in the first nine months of 2014 (all were crude oil releases totaling 52.25 m³). Two companies reported these six releases and the reasons for the releases are all different.
  • Five 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, one involved a failed gasket, one involved a crack at the foot of a valve, and the last incident involved a leak from a tank mixer seal. The sixth release incident was due to a failure to follow procedures while off-loading oil from a truck.
  • In five of the six incidents the product released was entirely contained within company property and all of the product is expected to be recovered. 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, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Year Total Volume Released (m³) # of Releases
2008 188.4 9
2009 495.05 7
2010 325.05 7
2011 283.00 6
2012 97.44 2
2013 42.78 9
Jan-Sep 2014 52.25 6

Figure 7(a): On/Off Company Property Liquid Releases by Location, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)

Figure 7(a): On/Off Company Property Liquid Releases by Location, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 7(a): Details
  • Including the six liquid releases in 2014, all of which occurred on company property, the total number of on-company property releases from 2008 to the end of September 2014 is 41.
  • 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, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
On Company Property Off Company Property
41 5

Figure 8: Number of Natural Gas and Other High Vapour Pressure Releases, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)

Figure 8: Number of Natural Gas and Other High Vapour Pressure Releases, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 8: Details
  • There were 36 reportable natural gas releases from January through September. Of these, 31 were sweet natural gas, 2 were acid gas, 1 was sour gas and 2 were ‘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. One other sweet natural gas release was a rupture event but it did not result in a fire.
Table 8: Number of Natural Gas and Other High Vapour Pressure Releases, 2008-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Year Total
2008 23
2009 50
2010 63
2011 63
2012 70
2013 56
Jan-Sep 2014 36

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

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

Figure 9: Number of UAs by Province, 2013-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 9: Details
  • Approximately 40 percent of the UAs reported between January and September of 2014 occurred in British Columbia, 27 percent occurred in Alberta, 11 percent occurred in Ontario, 10 percent in Quebec, 7 percent in Saskatchewan and 5 percent in Manitoba. The UAs in British Columbia included 31 ground disturbances, 2 encroachments and 3 vehicle crossings. The UAs in Alberta included 18 ground disturbances, 5 encroachments and 1 vehicle crossing. The 10 UAs in Ontario included 8 ground disturbances, 1 encroachment and 1 vehicle crossing. Of the 9 UAs in Québec, 6 were ground disturbances, 2 were vehicle crossings and 1 was an encroachment. The UAs in Saskatchewan included 5 ground disturbances and 1 encroachment, and the 4 UAs in Manitoba were all ground disturbances.
Table 9: Number of UAs by Province, 2013-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Province 2013 Jan-Sep 2014
Alberta 15 24
British Columbia 63 36
Manitoba 5 4
New Brunswick 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0
Ontario 18 10
Quebec 20 9
Saskatchewan 7 6

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

Figure 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 10: Details
  • The data from January to September continues to show that ground disturbance are the most prevalent type of UA.
Table 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Sep)
  2010 2011 2012 2013 Jan-Sep 2014
Ground Disturbance 86 61 122 97 73
Encroachment 12 7 12 9 9
Vehicle Crossing 6 4 10 7 7

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

Figure 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 11: Details
  • Consistent with trends from 2010 through 2013, contractors continue to be the leading type of violator through the first nine months of 2014, followed by landowners and municipalities.
Table 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Sep)
  2010 2011 2012 2013 Jan-Sep 2014
Contractor 62 41 78 70 49
Landowner 37 20 51 34 26
Municipality 4 11 15 9 11
Unknown 0 0 0 0 3

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

Figure 12: Number of UAs by First-Time Vs. Repeat Violators, 2010-2014 (Jan-Sep)
Figure 12: Details
  • The trend in the number of first-time vs. repeat violators continues so far in 2014, with more first-time violators than repeat violators.
Table 12: Number of UAs by First-Time Vs. Repeat Violators, 2010-2014 (Jan-Sep)
  2010 2011 2012 2013 Jan-Sep 2014
First Time 86 58 106 109 72
Repeat 10 7 22 15 17

Please note: The incident data shown represents a single point in time. As investigations are completed for open incidents, or 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.

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