Safety Performance Portal - December 2015
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 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.
 Total kms include pipeline that is approved, under construction, operational, deactivated, decommissioned, and pending abandonment.
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 - 2015
Figure 1: Details
- Figure 1 shows the number of events which occurred from 2008 through to 2015 that resulted in a reportable incident (or incidents).
- In 2015, there were 91 events reported under the OPR; 89 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.
|Year||Single Reportable Incident Event||Multiple Reportable Incident Event||Total Events|
Figure 2: Number of Incidents by Type, 2008 vs. 2015
Figure 2: Details
- Figure 2 compares the number of reportable incidents by type in 2014 with the number of reportable incidents for 2015. Subsequent figures provide information on the different incident types.
- Most reportable incidents do not result in threats to the safety of people or the environment.
|Year||Gas Releases||Fires||Explosions||Serious Injuries||Significant Adverse Effects||Fatalities||Liquid Releases||OBDL|
Figure 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2008 - 2015
Figure 3: Details
- There were three serious injuries in 2015. The first injury occurred when a worker was clearing an access road and slipped, which resulted in a broken forearm. The other two injury events occurred as a result of vehicle accidents when travelling to/from the work site and non-life-threatening injuries were sustained.
Figure 4: Number of Fatalities, 2008 - 2015
Figure 4: Details
- There were no fatalities in 2015.
Figure 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2008 - 2015
Figure 5: Details
- There have been 13 incidents related to OBDL in 2015, as follows:
- Two were related to the testing of newly installed equipment at a station, which caused the pipelines to shut down and lead to an over-pressure in nearby meter stations;
- Three involved over-pressure that occurred when thermal expansion caused an increase in pressure in the pipeline, and either the thermal relief valve failed to open, or the relief valve didn’t relieve the pressure quickly enough to avoid exceeding the line’s limits;
- Two involved an outage at a compressor station which resulted in an overpressure in the line;
- One occurred during maintenance work when expansion joints on an exhaust duct failed;
- One involved off-specification gas entering a meter station due to an error upstream;
- One occurred when a pipeline was started against a closed valve and the relief valve failed to open, setting off an alarm in the Control Centre;
- One involved an overpressure found during a review of pipeline operating pressures in a new segment of pipe;
- One occurred when a flow control valve closed unexpectedly and the relief system did not activate during a delivery; and,
- One occurred when a block valve did not close completely resulting in off-specification gas being flared.
Figure 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2008 - 2015
Figure 6: Details
- Twenty fires and three explosions have been reported in 2015, as follows:
- Seven fires occurred during welding/cutting work;
- Six fires occurred in equipment as follows: two in an excavator, one in a vacuum truck, one in a utility task vehicle, one in a mulcher and one in a skidder;
- Three electrical fires occurred in equipment, and these fires were contained within the equipment’s electrical housing;
- One fire occurred when a machine was started in an area where a vent line was expelling fumes;
- One fire was noticed coming from a booster vent;
- One grass fire occurred when a third party struck a power pole near a right of way;
- One fire occurred in a steam washer likely from a small leak in the diesel fuel line; and,
- Of the three explosions, two occurred in electrical equipment and one occurred in the exhaust of a boiler system.
Figure 7: Total Volumes of Liquids Released Vs. Number of Liquid Releases, 2008 - 2015
Figure 7: Details
- Five reportable liquid releases occurred in 2015 as follows:
- A leak overflowed the secondary containment around a valve and spilled 1.5 m3 of crude oil which did not leave company property;
- A leak from a pump spilled 2.0 m3 of lube oil which did not leave company property;
- A leak totaling 16.0 m3 of crude oil occurred from a booster pump. Of this volume, 15.0 m3 was contained by the secondary containment around the pump, and 1.0 m3 spilled onto adjacent soil affecting an area of 10 m x 10 m. Vacuum trucks were used to assist with the clean-up and restoration of the site.
- A leak of 30 m3 occurred when a crew was conducting work on a discharge line from a tank. All the released liquid was contained within the tank lot.
- A leak occurred during a pump upgrade spilling 4 m3 of crude oil which did not leave company property.
|Year||Total Volume Released (m³)||# of Releases|
Figure 7(a): On/Off Company Property Liquid Releases by Location, 2008 - 2015
Figure 7(a): Details
- Between 2008 and 2015, there have been a total of six liquid releases off company property.
- Four of the five liquid releases which were reported in 2015 were entirely contained within company property.
|On Company Property||Off Company Property|
Figure 8: Number of Natural Gas and Other High Vapour Pressure Releases, 2008 - 2015
Figure 8: Details
- There were 42 reportable natural gas and other high vapour pressure releases in 2015. Of these, 29 were sweet natural gas, five were natural gas liquids, four were sour natural gas, two were propane, one was mixed high vapour pressure hydrocarbons and one was fuel gas.
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.
Figure 9: Number of UAs by Province, 2014 - 2015
Figure 9: Details
- There were 138 UAs reported in 2014 and 175 UAs reported in 2015.
Figure 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010 - 2015
Figure 10: Details
- The data for 2015 shows that ground disturbance continues to be the most prevalent type of UA.
Figure 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010 - 2015
Figure 11: Details
- This graph is based on data from a new system. The unknown violator type is high in 2014 because the process of categorizing the data in the new system is ongoing. Consistent with trends from 2010 through 2014, of the known violator types, contractors continued to be the leading type of violator in 2015, followed by landowners and municipalities.
Figure 12: Number of UAs by First-Time Vs. Repeat Violators, 2010 - 2015
Figure 12: Details
- The trend in the number of first-time vs. repeat violators continued in 2015, with more first-time violators than repeat violators.
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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