Pipelines

Pipelines

About 415 000 kilometres of Canada’s oil and gas pipelines operate solely within Alberta’s boundaries and fall under the jurisdiction of the AER. Certain rate-regulated gas transmission pipelines fall under the jurisdiction of the Alberta Utilities Commission, for which the AER conducts field inspections and provides incident response. Oil and gas pipelines that cross provincial or federal borders are regulated by the National Energy Board. 

The AER ensures that the design, construction, operation, and maintenance - including discontinuation and abandonment of regulated pipelines - complies with Alberta’s Pipeline Act, Pipeline Regulation, and applicable Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards. The AER's pipeline-inspection program considers pipeline fluid characteristics, location, line size, failure history, and the company’s compliance history. Pipelines with greater potential risks are given a higher inspection priority.

The AER also conducts comprehensive incident investigations after serious incidents occur to determine the cause of a pipeline failure and what can be done to prevent a similar situation in the future.

Report 2013-B: Pipeline Performance in Alberta, 1990–2012 is a comprehensive analysis of pipeline data for Alberta on amounts and types, incident statistics, and incident rates.

Please see the Pipeline Safety Review webpage for the report, video, feedback, as well as organizational responses.

Compliance Assurance
Manual 005: Pipeline Inspections identifies noncompliance events. Noncompliance with the requirements may result in the licensee of the pipeline or duty holder receiving a response from the AER in accordance with the processes described in Directive 019: Compliance Assurance.

Below is additional information related to pipeline regulation in Alberta.

Directives

  • Directive 006 Licensee Liability Rating (LLR) Program and Licence Transfer Process
  • Directive 017 Measurement Requirements for Oil and Gas Operations
  • Directive 019 Compliance Assurance
  • Directive 026 Setback Requirements for Oil Effluent Pipelines
  • Directive 038 Noise Control
  • Directive 056 Energy Development Applications and Schedules
  • Directive 060 Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting
  • Directive 071 Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements for the Petroleum Industry
  • Directive 076 Operator Declaration Regarding Measurement and Reporting Requirements
  • Directive 077 Pipelines-Requirements and Reference Tools
  • ID 81-03 Minimum Distance Requirements Separation New Sour Gas Facilities from Residential and Other Developments
  • ID 96-01 Hay-Zama Lake Complex - Special Requirements

Bulletins

  • Bulletin 2012-12 Surveillance of Pipeline Water Crossings Due to High Streamflow Conditions

Informational Letters

  • IL 82-11 Preservation of Archaeological, Palaeontological, and Historical Resources: Policy Update
  • IL 90-21 Oil and Gas Development - Rumsey Block
  • IL 93-09 Oil and Gas Developments Eastern Slopes (Southern Portion)
  • IL 98-01 A Memorandum of Understanding Between Alberta Environmental Protection and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board Regarding Coordination of Release Notification Requirements and Subsequent Regulatory Response
  • IL 2002-01 Principles of Minimizing Surface Disturbance in Native Prairie and Parkland Areas

Statistical Reports

  • ST57 Field Surveillance and Operations Branch Provincial Summary
  • ST96 Pipeline Approval and Disposition Daily List

Related Reports & Information

  • Manuals Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) manuals are a category that are used for informational purposes only. Manuals can be targeted to external stakeholders (which can contain how-to guides or guidelines on programs or processes, or they can contain supplemental information).
  • Incident Reporting The AER’s incident reporting page provides public notice of energy-related incidents reported to Alberta’s oil and gas regulator.
  • Pipeline Safety Review G10 pipeline review findings and AER response.