Updated June 2019
The AER has a responsibility to ensure that companies in Alberta develop energy resources in a safe and responsible manner. This includes holding companies accountable for their performance and driving companies to improve.
We analyze data on pipeline incidents to identify trends and use what we learn to educate and enforce our requirements through pipeline inspections, assessments, and by sharing information.
Companies must identify, manage, and address any potential hazards associated with a pipeline that could lead to failure. Companies are also required to have a safety and loss management system to provide the framework for how to manage and administer its operational programs, such as the integrity management program. The integrity management program outlines the specific procedures and controls used to manage threats associated with operating a company's pipeline systems.
Operators are required to develop and maintain an effective leak detection program tailored to the specific pipeline system to help reduce incident consequence. Such a program may include: in-service pressure testing, mass-balance monitoring, aerial or ground surveillance, and data collection of pressure and flow. Emergency response plans are also required in the event an emergency occurs.
We share information by issuing new pipeline safety recommendations, such as those announced in Bulletin 2016-22: Operational Advisory: Leak Detection, and by introducing new pipeline safety programs, such as our pipeline safety and loss management program (see Bulletin 2017-08: Pipeline Licensee Safety and Loss Management Systems).
The AER will continue to explore more features in future pipeline performance reports to allow for meaningful comparisons, showcase incident learnings and trends, and demonstrate the importance of pipeline safety. In addition, the AER will continue to work on ways to expand information about incidents through better reporting and data collection as well as publishing more details about the contributing factors.