Safety Performance Portal - December 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.

See a map of reportable OPR incidents (2008 - present)
map of reportable OPR indicents

Dashboard

Figure 1: Total Number of Events Resulting in Reportable Incidents 2008-2014

Figure 1: Total Number of Events Resulting in Reportable Incidents 2008-2014
Figure 1: Details
  • Figure 1 shows the number of events which occurred from 2008 through to 2014 that resulted in a reportable incident (or incidents). In 2014 there were 76 events reported under the OPR; 74 events had a single reportable incident and two 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
Year Single Reportable Incident Event Multiple Reportable Incident Event Total Events
2008 51 0 51
2009 82 4 86
2010 104 1 105
2011 97 2 99
2012 148 5 153
2013 115 6 121
2014 74 2 76

Figure 2: Number of Incidents by Type, 2013 vs. 2014

Figure 2: Number of Incidents by Type, 2013 vs. 2014
Figure 2: Details
  • Figure 2 compares the number of reportable incidents by type in the years 2013 and 2014. Subsequent figures further detail a selection of the different incident types.
  • With respect to significant adverse effects on the environment incidents, there were none in 2013, whereas there were two in 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. The two serious injuries sustained in 2014 were fractures and there were no fatalities reported in 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
Year Gas Releases Fires Explosions Serious Injuries Significant Adverse Effects Fatalities Liquid Releases OBDL
2012 70 39 5 6 0 0 2 37
2013 56 14 0 2 0 1 9 42
2014 44 17 0 2 2 0 7 4

Figure 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2008-2014

Figure 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2008-2014
Figure 3: Details
  • The two serious injuries sustained in 2014 were fractures. One fracture occurred during a vehicle accident and the other occurred while loading a pallet. Similarly, the majority of serious injuries reported in other years involve fractures of major bones.
Table 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2008-2014
Year Serious Injuries
2008 3
2009 8
2010 0
2011 1
2012 6
2013 2
2014 2

Figure 4: Number of Fatalities, 2008-2014

Figure 4: Number of Fatalities, 2008-2014
Figure 4: Details
  • There were no fatalities in 2014.
Table 4: Number of Fatalities, 2008-2014
Year Fatalities
2008 2
2009 0
2010 0
2011 3
2012 0
2013 1
2014 0

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

Figure 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2008-2014
Figure 5: Details
  • There were six incidents related to OBDL in 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;
    • One involved an over-pressure in a pipeline junction and the service was subsequently returned to normal;
    • One involved a pipeline that was shut down and depressurized under controlled conditions after it was affected by a landslide;
    • One involved a pipeline that was damaged when hit with an excavator by a landowner, but there was no release of product or any injuries; and
    • One involved an over-pressure that occurred when re-pressurizing a lateral pipeline.
  • The higher number of OBDL incidents that occurred in 2010, 2012 and 2013 versus the other years can mostly be attributable to an investigation that was conducted by the NEB. The investigation uncovered several additional over-pressure incidents within company records, and these have subsequently been added to the NEBs incident data. The NEB continues to assess historical records as part of compliance verification activities.
Table 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2008-2014
Year Total
2008 0
2009 10
2010 20
2011 6
2012 37
2013 42
2014 6

Figure 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2008-2014 

Figure 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2008-2014 
Figure 6: Details
  • There were 17 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;
    • One fire was in a vent stack at a compressor station, which self-extinguished when the valve to the vent was closed.
    • One fire originated inside a Thermo-Electric Generator building and the exact cause cannot be determined due to the extent of the fire damage;
    • One flash-fire occurred when a construction crew was cutting a pipe support with a torch; and,
    • One fire was reported on top of a control room heating unit and is currently under investigation.
Table 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2008-2014
Year Fire Explosion
2008 10  
2009 14 2
2010 13 1
2011 22  
2012 39 5
2013 14  
2014 17  

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

Figure 7: Total Volumes of Liquids Released Vs. Number of Liquid Releases, 2008-2014
Figure 7: Details
  • Seven reportable liquid releases occurred in 2014 (all were crude oil releases totaling 266.25 m³). Eighty percent of the product released in 2014 can be attributed to a single incident.
  • Two companies reported these seven 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 one 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. The cause of the seventh release is under investigation, but preliminary reports show that the release did not leave company property.
  • In six of the seven incidents, the product released was entirely contained within company property and 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, the released product has been recovered and offsite impacts were cleaned up.
Table 7: Total Volumes of Liquids Released Vs. Number of Liquid Releases, 2008-2014
Year Total Volume Released (m³) # of Releases
2008 193.00 9
2009 495.05 7
2010 325.00 7
2011 283.00 6
2012 97.44 2
2013 42.78 9
2014 266.25 7

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

Figure 7(a): On/Off Company Property Liquid Releases by Location, 2008-2014
Figure 7(a): Details
  • Between 2008 and 2014, there have been a total of five liquid releases off company property.
  • In 2014, six of the seven liquid releases were entirely contained within company property. In the remaining incident, a spray of crude oil was found on top of a layer of snow off company property; all offsite impacts were subsequently cleaned up.
Table 7(a): On/Off Company Property Liquid Releases by Location, 2008-2014
On Company Property Off Company Property
42 5

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

Figure 8: Number of Natural Gas and Other High Vapour Pressure Releases, 2008-2014
Figure 8: Details
  • There were 44 reportable natural gas releases in 2014. Of these, 33 were sweet natural gas, 7 were ‘other’ gas, 3 were acid gas, and 1 was sour 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
Year Total
2008 23
2009 50
2010 63
2011 63
2012 70
2013 56
2014 44

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

Figure 9: Number of UAs by Province, 2013-2014
Figure 9: Details
  • Approximately 44 percent of the UAs reported in 2014 occurred in British Columbia, 21 percent in Alberta, 14 percent in Québec, 11 percent in Ontario, 5 percent in Saskatchewan, 4 percent in Manitoba, and less than 1 percent in Nova Scotia. The UAs in British Columbia included 50 ground disturbances, 3 encroachments and 5 vehicle crossings. The UAs in Alberta included 21 ground disturbances, 5 encroachments and 2 vehicle crossings. The 15 UAs in Ontario included 12 ground disturbances, 2 encroachments and 1 vehicle crossing. Of the 18 UAs in Québec, 15 were ground disturbances, 2 were vehicle crossings and 1 was an encroachment. The 7 UAs in Saskatchewan and the 5 UAs in Manitoba were all ground disturbances. There was one vehicle crossing in Nova Scotia.
Table 9: Number of UAs by Province, 2013-2014
Province 2013 2014
Alberta 15 28
British Columbia 63 58
Manitoba 5 5
New Brunswick 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 1
Ontario 18 15
Quebec 20 18
Saskatchewan 7 7

Figure 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010-2014

Figure 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010-2014
Figure 10: Details
  • The data from 2014 shows that ground disturbances continue to be the most prevalent type of UA.
Table 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010-2014
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ground Disturbance 86 61 122 97 110
Encroachment 12 7 12 9 11
Vehicle Crossing 6 4 10 7 11

Figure 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010-2014

Figure 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010-2014
Figure 11: Details
  • Consistent with trends from 2010 through 2013, contractors continue to be the leading type of violator in 2014, followed by landowners and municipalities.
Table 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010-2014
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Contractor 62 41 78 70 78
Landowner 37 20 51 34 30
Municipality 4 11 15 9 18
Unknown 0 0 0 0 6

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

Figure 12: Number of UAs by First-Time Vs. Repeat Violators, 2010-2014
Figure 12: Details
  • The trend in the number of first-time vs. repeat violators continued in 2014, with more first-time violators than repeat violators.
Table 12: Number of UAs by First-Time Vs. Repeat Violators, 2010-2014
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
First Time 86 58 106 109 103
Repeat 10 7 22 15 29

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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