News Release 2013-02-26/2


News Release 2013-02-26/2

News Release 2013-02-26/2 (NR2013-03)

VIEW PDF (33.63 KB)

Enforcement issued to Pembina Pipeline and Pengrowth Energy for 2011 spills

For immediate release

Calgary, Alberta (Feb 26, 2013)… The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has issued a high-risk enforcement action against Pembina Pipeline Corporation and a low-risk enforcement action against Pengrowth Energy for pipeline spills that occurred in mid-2011. Following the spills, the ERCB launched comprehensive investigations that involved numerous ERCB staff, included technical reviews of the causes of the incidents and emergency response activities, and identified specific areas for company improvement and recommendations for enforcement action.

A high-risk enforcement action was issued against Pembina Pipeline for neglecting to immediately inform the ERCB about a pipeline spill on July 20 near Swan Hills. On August 15, 2011, a second failure occurred on the same pipeline about 1600 m from the July 20 failure. Through the investigation, the ERCB determined that both pipeline failures were caused by circumferential stress corrosion cracking. The ERCB also directed the company to develop and implement a dig program to inspect for, identify, and address potential stress corrosion cracking in all pipelines that are in a condition similar to the condition of the pipeline that failed, and to share with its peers the knowledge gained from the incidents to ensure an industry-wide response to prevent similar pipeline failures in the future.

Pengrowth Energy has been issued a low-risk enforcement action for operating the pipeline for more than a year under faulty construction practices before a pipeline failure on June 26, 2011, near Swan Hills.

The ERCB has directed the company to immediately modify its construction management system to incorporate and control all aspects of pipeline design and construction activities, including clear definitions of roles, responsibilities, experience, and expectations of anyone involved in pipeline design, construction, and inspection. Pengrowth must also develop, adopt, maintain, and communicate written procedures to ensure the design, configuration, and testing of pipeline automated systems to properly anticipate and prevent similar problems in the future.

Both investigation reports are available at

The ERCB is Alberta’s primary energy regulator. For almost 75 years we have been committed to our mission: to ensure that the discovery, development, and delivery of Alberta’s energy resources occur in a fair and responsible manner that takes into account public safety, environmental protection, and resource conservation.


Two Alberta pipeline companies are facing enforcement actions after separate pipeline failures near Swan Hills in 2011. Pembina Pipeline has been issued high-risk enforcement and Pengrowth Energy faces low-risk enforcement after the Energy Resources Conservation Board investigated the spills. Both investigation reports are available at

– 30 –

For more information, please contact:

Darin Barter
Phone: 403-681-0946
Media line: 1-855-474-6356