Picture this – pipeline weld technology

This is the second post in our ‘Picture this’ series, where we provide photographic answers to some of your pipeline questions. In the first post, we explained how pipeline companies prepare for emergencies, and this week we’re taking a look at pipeline welds.

Are pipelines prone to weak spots where there are welds and joints?

It’s understandable to wonder whether pipelines are more likely to spill or leak wherever joints are welded. But you might be surprised to learn that, if anything, those welds tend to create a strong, rather than a weak spot.

Three surprising facts about pipeline welds

  • Pipeline welders must pass a skills test each time they begin work on a new project
  • On federally- regulated pipelines, each weld is inspected using ultrasonic technology
  • Welds are further inspected by forcing water at high pressure through the pipeline


Pipeline joints being welded


If you’d like to learn more about how pipelines are welded, check out these blog posts:

  • In pictures: tour a pipeline construction project
  • Do your beliefs about pipelines stand up to the science?
  • The evolution of pipeline testing technology

If you’ve got pipeline questions, share them with us here in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and we’ll try to answer them in an upcoming ‘Picture this’ post.


The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 119,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2015, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Our members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.