How often are pipelines replaced?

You asked, we answered. This blog is part of a series that explores common questions Canadians have about pipelines and the oil and gas industry, answered by industry experts.

Monitor + Inspect + Maintain. These are the three key elements needed to ensure Canada’s pipeline infrastructure can operate safely for a long time.

How long you ask? This week, Andrew Greig, a senior engineer with Trans Mountain, explains how often pipelines are replaced, and how inspections and replacements are regulated.

Take a look here:

Monitoring pipelines

Pipelines are monitored 24/7 from control rooms to ensure that they are operating safely and securely and anything out of the ordinary gets investigated immediately. Operators also use other forms of monitoring including aerial surveillance, geohazard technologies and having employees walk the right-of-way.

DYK some of Canada’s transmission pipelines have been in service for over 50 years?

Inspecting pipelines

Pipeline operators consider the product the pipeline is carrying, the age of the pipeline, geohazards and other critical elements to determine how frequently a pipeline should be inspected. Inspections can take many forms –  including x-rays and ultrasounds, and running diagnostic tools inside the pipeline.

Maintaining pipelines

To maintain Canada’s pipeline infrastructure, CEPA member companies perform integrity digs to get an up-close view of the pipeline to determine if repairs or replacement is needed.

Have a question you would like answered? Visit our Your Questions page. If you want to hear more from some of our other industry experts, check out these links:

Does the low-carbon future include pipelines?

With a major shift to electric vehicles, will oil and gas even be needed in the future?

Shouldn’t we be getting rid of oil and gas? How can we continue to reduce fossil fuels and reduce emissions?