It’s important that our pipeline requirements follow curreny industry standards and best practices. With the help of regulators around the world, we continually put our work under the microscope to improve how we regulate pipelines.
We’ve seen progress: pipeline incidents in Alberta declined by 40% between 2013 and 2022, while the length of pipelines increased by about 9%. But how did that happen?
Alberta Pipeline Safety Review
In July 2012, Alberta’s minister of energy directed the AER to have a third party conduct a pipeline safety review. The review examined the adequacy of pipeline requirements and industry best practices for public safety and response to pipeline incidents, pipeline integrity management, and the safety of pipelines at or near water crossings.
The report detailing the results of the review, Alberta Pipeline Safety Review, included 17 recommendations to enhance an already strong and extensive pipeline regulatory system. We reviewed and responded to the report.
2015 Auditor General Report
In March 2015, the auditor general of Alberta released an audit on pipeline safety. The audit found that we had well-functioning pipeline regulations and made six recommendations for improvement.
We accepted all of the recommendations and began making changes. We improved our surveillance and enforcement, established performance measures and targets, and enhanced training for our staff.
The Office of the Auditor General (OAG) assessed our implementation of the recommendations of the 2015 audit recommendation and, in November 2021, published a report finding that the AER had implemented all six recommendations.
We are currently working to update the Pipeline Rules and related regulatory instruments (anticipated release date November 2023) to ensure that our requirements align with the outcomes Albertans expect: public safety, environmental protection, resource conservation, and economic benefits. We will also continue to work closely with industry and regulators across the world to identify and adopt new technology to help us improve the integrity of pipelines and to prevent incidents.