Pipelines

On June 26, 2017, the AER launched the latest iteration of the Integrated Decision Approach with an online process for new pipeline applications using the OneStop platform. On November 6, 2017, the AER expanded the online process to include all pipeline amendment applications (except partial substance change) under the Pipeline Act into the OneStop platform. 

The AER is phasing in OneStop and will eventually add partial substance change applications to the system. In the interim, submission of these applications can be submitted via email to PipelineOperations@aer.ca.  

The AER only changed how a company submits pipeline applications. There are no changes to public safety, participant involvement, notification, or technical requirements.

Applicants must still comply with Directive 056: Energy Development Applications and Schedules, the Pipeline Act, the Pipeline Rules, the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the Water Act, Canadian Standards Association CSA Z662: Oil and gas pipeline systems, and Directive 077: Pipelines – Requirements and Reference Tools.

Now, all pipeline applications (except partial substance change) can be submitted through OneStop; any related applications are submitted using existing processes. Applicants are encouraged to submit related applications at the same time (bundled applications). This will allow the AER to consider all aspects of the project through one decision-making process rather than repeating the process for each related application.

To use OneStop, applicants should note the following:

Application Scope
An application may include up to three rights-of-way (ROW) that are not in contact with each other. Each ROW may include multiple pipelines, and, together with all pipelines in the ROW, they must be a part of the same gathering system or transmission line.

Increased Efficiency
Applications will be processed through the OneStop technology. There are two review levels: baseline (automated) and additional review (manual). The baseline review ensures that the application is complete and meets minimum technical requirements. All applications go through this process. At this point the system determines if additional review is needed (based on criteria outlined on the risk page). Applications that are more complex will also be routed for additional manual review.

Category/Type Labels
OneStop does not ask you to specify the pipeline category/type labels. The system determines this based on the information provided in the application.

Schedules
OneStop does not use Schedules 1, 3, 3.1, or 3.2. The information required under these schedules is captured by OneStop input screens.

Base Plan Maps
Spatial data (Base plan maps) will be submitted to OneStop as a digital spatial file.

Data Collection
An applicant will be asked to submit the following in OneStop.

  • Partial pressure – Before OneStop, partial pressure information was collected at the licence level. OneStop will now collect the information at the line level.
  • Bi-directional flow indicator – Before OneStop, an applicant indicated by way of a cover letter if its pipeline will have alternating flow.
  • External protection – Indicates the type of coating on the external surface of a pipeline. Before OneStop, the applicant was expected to have this information as required under CSA Z662, but it was not collected.
  • CSA Class location indicator – Before OneStop, this information was not collected, but the applicant was expected to have this information as required under CSA Z662.
  • Surface crossing indicator – Before OneStop, the Environment field in Schedule 3.1 (Envir) was used to indicate if a pipeline crossed a watercourse or if it is was a surface line, but the field could not indicate both. In OneStop, two separate fields will be used.
  • HDD/Bored – Before OneStop, this information was not collected. In OneStop, this information will be used to indicate if a pipeline crosses a watercourse and where horizontal directional drilling or boring construction methods will be used.
  • Sour Service – A field allowing the applicant to indicate that it is applying for sweet service but that the pipeline will be designed and constructed to CSA Z662 sour service standards. This will flag that there may be reduced application requirements for any subsequent amendment application to change the pipeline’s service from sweet to sour.

Routine Applications
As stated in Directive 056, a routine application is when the applicant meets all requirements (including participant involvement), there are no outstanding public or industry concerns, and regulatory waivers or relaxations are not requested. OneStop is designed to identify routine applications through the information provided in the application.

For inquiries about any aspect of using OneStop to file new pipeline applications, please contact the AER’s Customer Contact Centre by phone at 403-297-8311 (1-855-297-8311 toll free) or by email at inquiries@aer.ca.

any aspect of using OneStop to file new pipeline applications, please contact the AER’s Customer Contact Centre by phone at 403-297-8311 (1-855-297-8311 toll free) or by email at inquiries@aer.ca.