Statistical Summary – Pipeline Occurrences 2012

Foreword

This document provides users of Canadian pipeline safety data with an annual summary of selected statistics on pipeline occurrences. It covers federally regulated pipelines only. Non-federally regulated data reported to the TSB are not included in this report.

Users of these statistics are advised that, in a live database, the occurrence data are constantly being updated. Consequently, the statistics can change slightly over time. Further, as many occurrences are not formally investigated, information recorded for some occurrences will not have been verified. Therefore, caution should be used when using these statistics. The 2012 statistics presented in this document reflect the TSB database as of 1 February 2013.

To enhance awareness and increase the safety value of the material presented in this document, readers are permitted to copy or reprint in whole, or in part, for further distribution (with acknowledgement of the source).

The TSB is an independent agency operating under its own Act of Parliament. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety.


Pipeline occurrences in 2012

In 2012, in the federally-regulated pipeline system, 35 companies transported 190 million cubic metres of oil (1.2 billion barrels) along 18,992 kilometres of active oil lines. Fifty-eight companies, including 7 that also transport oil, transported 128 billion cubic metres of natural gas (4.5 trillion cubic feet) along 56,357 kilometres of active natural gas lines.Footnote 1

Accidents

Seven pipeline accidentsFootnote 2 (table 1) were reported to the TSB in 2012, up from a total of 5 in 2011, but below the annual average of 9 in the previous 5 year period (2007–2011).

According to estimates provided by the National Energy Board (NEB), pipeline activity increased 3% from 2011. An indicator of pipeline transportation safety in Canada is the pipeline accident rate. The 2012 rate (table 2) was 0.5 pipeline accidents per exajouleFootnote 2, up from 0.4 in 2011, but down from the annual average of 0.7 in 2007–2011 (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Number of accidentsFootnote 4 and accident rateFootnote 5 (accidents per exajouleFootnote 6[D]

Figure 1. Number of accidents and accident rate (accidents per exajoule)

(Click to view larger image)

Over the 10 year period (2003–2012), 47% of pipeline accidents (table 4) occurred at compressor stations and gas processing plants, and 18% occurred on transmission lines (Figure 2). The remaining pipeline accidents (35%) occurred on gathering lines, meter stations, pump stations, and other facility types.

In 2012, all pipeline accidents occurred at facilities: 3 at compressor stations, 2 at pump stations, 1 at a meter station, and 1 at a gathering line. The last fatal accident on a federally-regulated pipeline system occurred in 1988. One accident resulting in a serious injury occurred in 2012.

Figure 2. Percentage of accidents by facility type, 2003–2012 [D]

Figure 2. Percentage of accidents by facility type, 2003–2012

(Click to view larger image)

Over the 2003-2012 period, 52 of the 93 accidents (table 5 & table 6) resulted in a release of product. Nineteen of these involved a release of natural gas, all with less than 1 cubic metreFootnote 7 of gas released. Fourteen accidents involved a release of crude oil, with 8 less than 1 cubic metre, 2 between 1 and 25 cubic metres, 3 between 26 and 1000 cubic metres, and 1 over 1,000 cubic metres.

Figure 3. Percentage of accidents by quantity of release, 2003–2012 [D]

Figure 3. Percentage of accidents by quantity of release, 2003–2012

(Click to view larger image)

Incidents

In 2012, 173 pipeline incidentsFootnote 8 (table 1) were reported to the TSB, up from 167 in 2011 and up from the annual average of 116 in 2007-2011.

Figure 4. Number of pipeline incidents, 2003–2012 [D]

Figure 4. Number of pipeline incidents, 2003–2012

(Click to view larger image)

To better understand the recent increase in pipeline incidents, the TSB conducted a detailed review of the incident data, and has initiated further consultation with pipeline stakeholders. To date, it has been determined that the increase in pipeline incidents beginning in 2008 was primarily associated with two factors. The first relates to the proportion of small product releases (less than one cubic metre) reported to the TSB compared to other occurrences. Specifically, more companies are now reporting a larger proportion of their small product releases, likely due to increased adherence to integrity management programs. The proportion of small releases as a percent of all uncontained release incidents was 79% in 2004-2007, which increased to 91% in 2009-2012.Footnote 9 Second, a major pipeline network was transferred from provincial to federal jurisdiction in 2009 (increasing pipeline kilometers under NEB jurisdiction by 38%), leading to a further increase in the number of reported occurrences. The TSB is continuing to explore the potential impact of other contributing factors.

In 2012, 21% of pipeline incidents (table 4) occurred at pump stations, followedby 20% at terminals, 19% on transmission lines, 18% at compressor stations, and 10% at meter stations. The remaining 12% occurred at other facilities (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Percentage of incidents by facility type, 2012 [D]

Figure 5. Percentage of incidents by facility type, 2012

(Click to view larger image)

In 2012, 85% of incidents involved a release of less than 1 cubic metre of gas, oil or other petroleum product, and 11% involved no release of product. Two incidents involved a release of 1 to 25 cubic metres of natural gas, 1 involved a release of 1 to 25 cubic metres of liquified petroleum gas, and 1 involved a release of 1 to 25 cubic metres of crude oil. Two incidents involved a release of 25 to 1,000 cubic metres of natural gas, and 1 involved a release of 25 to 1,000 cubic metres of crude oil (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Percentage of incidents by quantity of release, 2012 [D]

Figure 6. Percentage of incidents by quantity of release, 2012

(Click to view larger image)


Appendices

Appendix A: Pipeline occurrence tables


Table 1, Pipeline accidents and incidents by type, 2003-2012
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Accidents 21 7 5 9 7 6 15 11 5 7
Total, line pipe 4 0 2 1 2 0 6 1 2 1
3rd party damage with release 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Disturbance of supporting environment with release 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Corrosion/Environmental cracking 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Fire/Ignition/Explosion 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 1
Other damage with release 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 1 0 0
Total, other facilities (a) 17 7 3 8 5 6 9 10 3 6
3rd party damage 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 2 1 1
Corrosion/Environmental cracking 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fire/Ignition/Explosion 15 6 3 6 4 4 7 6 2 5
Other damage with release 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 2 0 0
Accidents with a release of product 13 5 3 2 3 3 8 8 4 3
Accidents with casualties 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1
Accidents with environmental damage 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1
Accidents with a fire 16 4 3 5 4 4 11 6 3 6
Accidents with an explosion 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1
Incidents 38 74 79 62 64 84 118 145 167 173
Total, line pipe 5 25 21 11 14 13 20 16 18 18
3rd party damage no release 2 1 0 3 2 3 5 2 1 3
Disturbance of supporting environment no release 0 0 3 0 1 0 1 0 2 2
Uncontained release 3 16 17 5 9 5 9 7 12 12
Other 0 8 1 3 2 5 5 7 3 1
Total, other facilities 33 49 58 51 50 71 98 129 149 155
3rd party damage no release 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 1
Uncontained release 29 45 54 51 45 61 86 119 125 140
Other 4 4 4 0 5 8 11 10 24 14
Incidents with a release of product 35 66 71 56 55 69 96 129 147 154
Incidents with casualties 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Incidents with environmental damage 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1
Incidents with a fire 0 0 0 1 1 5 0 1 9 6
Incidents with an explosion 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

Data extracted February 1, 2013.

Federally regulated pipeline occurrences.

Reportable pipeline occurrences after 2003 reflect the impact of clarifications to the pipeline industry of the TSB's accident and incident reporting requirements, and of internal adjustments to the data in TSB's Pipeline Occurrence Database System.

Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.


Table 2, Pipeline activity and accident rate, 2003-2012
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Accidents 21 7 5 9 7 6 15 11 5 7
Natural gas products (exajoules) 6.5 6.5 6.6 6.6 6.5 6.2 5.9 5.6 5.6 5.3
Petrolium products (exajoules) 6.4 6.5 6.3 6.5 6.6 6.3 6.5 6.8 7.3 8
Total (exajoules) 12.9 13 12.9 13.1 13.1 12.5 12.4 12.4 12.9 13.3
Number of accidents per exajoule 1.63 0.54 0.39 0.69 0.53 0.48 1.21 0.89 0.39 0.53

Data extracted February 1, 2013.

Federally regulated pipeline occurrences.

Source: National Energy Board (estimated).


Table 3, Pipeline accidents and incidents by province, 2003-2012
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Accidents 21 7 5 9 7 6 15 11 5 7
Newfoundland and Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Prince Edward Island 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Brunswick 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Quebec 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ontario 1 0 1 1 2 1 5 2 2 2
Manitoba 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 1 0 0
Saskatchewan 2 0 1 0 1 0 2 1 1 1
Alberta 1 0 1 1 0 0 4 4 1 2
British Columbia 14 7 2 5 3 4 4 3 0 2
Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Northwest Territories 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Nunavut 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Incidents 38 74 79 62 64 84 118 145 167 173
Newfoundland and Labrador 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Prince Edward Island 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nova Scotia 2 0 1 1 2 1 0 1 5 2
New Brunswick 0 0 0 0 1 0 5 6 14 19
Quebec 2 3 4 1 3 2 4 2 2 1
Ontario 1 11 7 7 8 17 20 19 22 22
Manitoba 3 6 3 7 4 10 9 14 11 10
Saskatchewan 9 11 23 14 10 17 13 38 35 45
Alberta 3 9 21 11 11 16 36 51 55 45
British Columbia 18 32 16 20 23 19 26 13 11 18
Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Northwest Territories 0 2 4 1 2 2 5 1 12 11
Nunavut 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Data extracted February 1, 2013.

Federally regulated pipeline occurrences.

Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.


Table 4, Pipeline accidents and incidents by facility type, 2003-2012
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Accidents 21 7 5 9 7 6 15 11 5 7
Compressor station 5 1 0 4 2 2 3 5 0 3
Gathering line 6 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
Injection/Delivery facility 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Meter station 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 2 1
Gas processing plant 7 5 1 1 0 2 3 0 0 0
Pump station 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 2
Storage facility 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Terminal 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 2 1 0
Transmission line 1 0 2 1 3 0 7 1 2 0
Other 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Incidents 38 74 79 62 64 84 118 145 167 173
Compressor station 7 4 10 8 8 20 32 26 22 31
Gathering line 3 7 8 5 5 5 9 7 7 8
Injection/Delivery facility 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
Meter station 0 0 0 1 5 2 13 21 20 17
Gas processing plant 12 20 7 9 4 8 8 5 3 6
Pump station 5 16 27 18 15 20 26 30 47 37
Storage facility 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1
Terminal 5 7 11 8 11 10 13 21 27 35
Transmission line 3 16 13 12 14 17 16 32 32 33
Other 3 4 3 1 2 1 1 2 7 5

Data extracted February 1, 2013.

Federally regulated pipeline occurrences.

Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.


Table 5, Pipeline accidents and incidents with released by product type, 2003-2012
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Accidents 13 5 3 2 3 3 8 8 4 3
Condensate 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Liquified petroleum gas 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Natural gas 4 0 1 1 1 0 5 3 2 2
Natural gas liquids 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Petroleum crude oil 2 0 1 1 2 1 1 4 2 0
Refined products 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Sour gas 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Well effluent 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sour condensate 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sour crude oil 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Acid gas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 6 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
Incidents 35 66 71 56 55 69 96 129 147 154
Condensate 1 3 0 1 0 1 1 2 0 0
Liquified petroleum gas 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 2 1 1
Natural gas 10 14 16 14 19 26 37 55 59 63
Natural gas liquids 6 3 5 1 0 0 0 0 4 1
Petroleum crude oil 4 22 38 24 24 28 32 54 71 77
Refined products 1 0 1 2 1 1 2 4 0 2
Sour gas 2 9 5 3 5 1 7 2 2 4
Well effluent 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sour condensate 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sour crude oil 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Acid gas 0 2 2 0 1 1 0 0 1 0
Other 11 13 3 10 5 10 16 10 9 6

Data extracted February 1, 2013.

Federally regulated pipeline occurrences.

Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.


Table 6, Pipeline accidents and incidents by quantity released, 2003-2012
  2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Accidents 21 7 5 9 7 6 15 11 5 7
No product release 8 2 2 7 4 3 7 3 1 4
Less than 1 cubic metre 13 5 2 1 1 2 7 8 3 3
1 to 25 cubic metres 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
26 to 1000 cubic metres 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0
Greater than 1000 cubic metres 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Incidents 38 74 79 62 64 84 118 145 167 173
No product release 3 8 8 6 9 15 22 16 20 19
Less than 1 cubic metre 27 48 56 47 44 53 87 119 124 147
1 to 25 cubic metres 4 8 9 4 7 13 5 5 13 4
26 to 1000 cubic metres 3 2 4 5 2 3 3 5 5 3
Greater than 1000 cubic metres 1 8 2 0 2 0 1 0 5 0

Data extracted February 1, 2013.

Federally regulated pipeline occurrences.

Source: Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Appendix B: Definitions

The following definitions apply to pipeline occurrences that are required to be reported pursuant to the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and the associated regulations.

Pipeline

A pipeline that is used for the transportation of commodities and includes all branches, extensions, pumps, racks, compressors, loading facilities, storage facilities, reservoirs, tanks, preparation plants, separation plants, interstation systems of communication and property and works connected therewith.

Pipeline occurrence

  1. Any accident or incident associated with the operation of a pipeline, and
  2. Any situation or condition that the Board has reasonable grounds to believe could, if left unattended, induce an accident or incident referred to in paragraph (a);

Reportable commodity pipeline accident

An accident resulting directly from the operation of a commodity pipeline, where:

  1. a person sustains a serious injury or is killed as a result of being exposed to
    1. a fire, ignition or explosion, or
    2. a commodity released from the commodity pipeline, or
  2. the commodity pipeline
    1. sustains damage affecting the safe operation of the commodity pipeline as a result of being contacted by another object or as a result of a disturbance of its supporting environment,
    2. causes or sustains an explosion, or a fire or ignition that is not associated with normal operating circumstances, or
    3. sustains damage resulting in the release of any commodity;

Reportable commodity pipeline incident

An incident resulting directly from the operation of a commodity pipeline, where:

  1. an uncontained and uncontrolled release of a commodity occurs,
  2. the commodity pipeline is operated beyond design limits,
  3. the commodity pipeline causes an obstruction to a ship or to a surface vehicle owing to a disturbance of its supporting environment,
  4. any abnormality reduces the structural integrity of the commodity pipeline below design limits,
  5. the commodity pipeline causes an obstruction to a ship or to a surface vehicle owing to a disturbance of its supporting environment,
  6. any activity in the immediate vicinity of the commodity pipeline poses a threat to the structural integrity of the commodity pipeline, or
  7. the commodity pipeline, or a portion thereof, sustains a precautionary or emergency shut- down for reasons that relate to or create a hazard to the safe transportation of a commodity;

Serious injury

An injury that is likely to require admission to a hospital.


Footnotes

Footnote 1

Data regarding the size of the federally regulated pipeline system, the number of companies, and the transported product volumes were provided by the National Energy Board (NEB).

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Refer to Appendix B for a definition of a reportable pipeline accident.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

One exajoule = 1018 joules (A joule is a unit of work or energy equal to the work done by a force of one newton acting through a distance of one metre.)

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Footnote 4

Reportable pipeline occurrences after 2003 reflect the impact of clarifications to the pipeline industry of the TSB's accident and incident reporting requirements, and of internal adjustments to the data in TSB's Pipeline Occurrence Database System.

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Footnote 5

In 2009, there was a 38% increase in the size of the federally regulated pipeline system when an additional 23 705 kilometres of pipeline and associated facilities were transferred from provincial jurisdiction.

Return to footnote 5 referrer

Footnote 6

Source: NEB (estimated).

Return to footnote 6 referrer

Footnote 7

One cubic metre equals 35.3 cubic feet.

Return to footnote 7 referrer

Footnote 8

Refer to Appendix B for a definition of a reportable pipeline incident.

Return to footnote 8 referrer

Footnote 9

The proportional change is statistically significant (Yates Χ2=20.37, 1df, p<.0001). The proportional change is accounted for primarily by a significant increase in reported releases less than one cubic metre (t=5.59, 6 df, p<.001), and not by any change in the number of reported releases larger than one cubic metre (t=0.24, 6 df, p(ns)).

Return to footnote 9 referrer