Enbridge responds to TSB natural gas pipeline incident report

March 04, 2020

On March 4, 2020, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) released its investigation findings on the Shelley natural gas pipeline incident, which occurred on October 9, 2018 approximately 13.5 km north of Prince George, B.C.

“We know this incident has caused concerns and disrupted the lives of many people in the area. For that, we apologize,” said Michele Harradence, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Gas Transmission and Midstream for Enbridge. “We commit that we have learned from this incident and have taken steps to ensure the safety of our natural gas system.”

Since the Shelley incident, Enbridge has completed a comprehensive pipeline integrity program on its natural gas pipeline system in B.C. to prevent similar incidents from occurring and to significantly improve pipeline safety. This is the most aggressive integrity program ever undertaken by Enbridge on its pipeline system in B.C. It’s part of a new approach to pipeline safety and an ongoing commitment to continually improve the safety of our natural gas pipeline system.

Program Highlights

Enhanced Pipeline Inspections

  • The entire T-South natural gas pipeline system has been inspected with the latest generation inline pipeline inspection tool. This tool has double the number of sensors than previous inspection tools and is significantly more accurate at assessing potential problems like stress corrosion cracking.
  • The T-South mainline system now is 100 per cent inspected by this tool.
  • We will continue to use this inspection tool going forward, conducting inspections with it more frequently.

Enhanced Maintenance Screening Criteria

  • In conjunction with these pipeline inspections, we’ve implemented more comprehensive criteria to evaluate pipeline inspection data. This will identify potential risks earlier that may require monitoring and proactive maintenance work.

Increased Integrity Digs

  • As a result of this enhanced screening criteria, we’ve increased the number of integrity dig inspections undertaken in a normal maintenance year. During an integrity dig, we excavate a section of pipe to examine it further, validating its safety and undertaking proactive maintenance work if it is required. In 2019, we more than doubled the number of digs undertaken to validate the safety of our pipeline system compared to previous years.

At Enbridge, no incident is acceptable—ever. If an incident were to occur, we will implement changes to ensure the ongoing safety of our pipeline system.

Since the Shelley incident, we have completed a comprehensive integrity program on our T-South natural gas pipeline system and implemented a new approach to pipeline safety that goes well beyond the industry standard.

We are reviewing the TSB report carefully and are committed to making further changes as needed to continually improve pipeline safety.