Line 9 update: NEB rules valve placement ‘appropriate,’ imposes additional obligations

February 6, 2015

The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved two conditions relating to Enbridge’s Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project, while also imposing further project obligations pertaining to water crossing safety.

The NEB on Friday approved Enbridge’s submissions on Condition 16, which deals with valve placement, and Condition 18, relating to watercourse crossing management plans, commenting that Enbridge “has adequately demonstrated that its methodology for the number and placement of valves is currently appropriate.”

In a public letter to Enbridge, the NEB cites our Intelligent Valve Placement (IVP) methodology, which is based on thorough engineering practices and exhaustive risk assessment. In applying this program along Line 9, Enbridge installed 17 additional remote-controlled valves along the pipeline corridor, from Sarnia to Montreal, bringing the total number of remote-controlled valves to 62 and enhancing safety across our system.

“The methodology considers where valves will be most useful to reduce the impact in the case of a failure,” reads the NEB letter. “Enbridge’s submissions for Condition 16 demonstrate that the 17 additional valves are a significant improvement to the existing and operating pipeline and reflect an evolving response in identifying and addressing concerns associated with pipelines.”

At the same time, the NEB has reaffirmed its status as a “lifecycle regulator” and, accordingly, has required Enbridge to submit, within the next 12 months, a comprehensive analysis of water crossings which would determine whether additional isolation valves are necessary.

Enbridge’s top priority is operating our energy transportation network in a safe and reliable manner. We are fully committed to operating Line 9 safely – just as we have done since 1976.

Enbridge is pleased with the NEB’s decision to accept our explanation on valve placement at water crossings. We will fulfill the NEB’s directive regarding ongoing review and analysis of water crossings and valve locations. We fully support this directive as an effective measure to ensure continued safe performance of this pipeline.

The NEB’s full press release is available on the NEB website.