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Pipeline transportation

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigates occurrences involving federally regulated pipelines anywhere in Canada. Since the TSB’s creation in 1990, Rail and Pipeline Investigations Branch investigations and Board recommendations have led to numerous safety advancements in Canada, including: emergency shutdown systems at compressor stations and standards for pipe manufacturing.

The TSB's team of experts has extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of pipeline engineering, metallurgy, welding and control systems, as well as the pipeline regulatory environment. We have access to and use highly trained specialists and state-of-the-art equipment to examine and test pipeline components involved in occurrences in order to identify and confirm safety deficiencies. TSB pipeline investigators also serve on and actively participate in various government and industry committees, activities and forums in order to monitor trends and promote the safety messages resulting from our investigations.

Pipeline transportation occurrences in 2023

In 2023, a total of 68 pipeline occurrences were reported to the TSB, unchanged from the previous year. No pipeline accidents were reported in 2023, compared to one in 2022 and an average of 0.8 per year from 2018 to 2022.

The 68 pipeline incidents in 2023 represent an increase of one from the 67 incidents in 2022 but a decrease from the five-year average of 85. Seventeen of these incidents involved a release of product, below the number in 2022 (25) and the five-year average (26). Fifteen of the 17 incidents involved a release of hydrocarbon gas and two involved a release of low vapour pressure hydrocarbons.

In 2023, “Pipeline contacted by object” was the category with the most reported incidents (17), above the 2022 total of 13 incidents and the five-year average of 12 incidents. Geotechnical/hydrotechnical/environmental activity, which had been the most prevalent incident category, was second in 2023 with 15 incidents, up one from 2022 but below the five-year average of 31 incidents.

See the data on pipeline transportation occurrences in December 2023.