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The 4 phases of emergency management

The starting point of a thorough emergency management plan is not rapid response or high-tech equipment. It’s prevention.CEPA members are constantly working toward a goal of zero incidents. That’s why their pipeline infrastructure is well-designed, comprehensively maintained and constantly monitored. However, if an incident does occur, they are ready to take action immediately — from the first warning in a control room, which is monitored 24-7. Emergency management is a comprehensive, proactive approach to mitigating, preparing for, responding to and managing incidents. See our graphic below to learn all about the details.   Pipelines are a safe, responsible way to deliver oil and natural gas, and are part of Canada’s energy future. CEPA members are committed to delivering energy responsibly, which is why emergency management is such an important part of operations. Learn more about how CEPA members keep people safe and protect the environment....
emergency response equipment

4 things to know about emergency response equipment

Pipeline incidents are rare. However, in the unlikely event that an incident does occur, CEPA members are ready to respond quickly. That’s because they implement emergency preparedness plans, have agreements in place to access additional resources and expertise, and use specialized equipment to quickly contain and recover product that may have been released. It’s part of every emergency response plan. Every pipeline has a regulator-approved emergency response plan in place, and each plan includes its own lists of available emergency response equipment, ensuring operators have the right equipment available for the location, terrain and type of product.   CEPA members belong to emergency response cooperatives. Organizations like Western Canadian Spill Services and Eastern Canada Response Corporation provide preparedness and response support services to CEPA members, including emergency response equipment. This ensures CEPA members have fast access to the best emergency response equipment. Watch this video to learn more about how WCSS places response units at strategic locations.   CEPA members can request equipment and other support from other CEPA members. The Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement formalizes an existing industry practice of CEPA members helping one another in an emergency. This agreement means knowledge, expertise, equipment and resources of all members are available to one another – because any operator’s incident is every operator’s incident.   Specialized equipment enables effective response on land or water. CEPA members use a broad array of emergency response equipment so they can effectively respond to an incident, no matter the environment, release size or area. This includes containment and recovery units to wildlife deterrents to skimmers, which are used to contain oil in water. Employees and contractors participate in emergency preparedness training and exercises to ensure they are prepared to respond regardless of the situation.   Emergency response equipment is one aspect of pipeline operators’ overall emergency management plan to anticipate, prevent, manage and mitigate conditions if there is a pipeline incident. Did you like this post? Then you’ll enjoy this post: In case of emergency, industry is ready to respond....

Quiz: Do you know how pipeline companies manage emergencies?

Pipeline emergencies, such as leaks, are rare in Canada. That’s because CEPA members, the companies operating these pipelines, view safety as their top priority right from the start.Even so, CEPA members are ready to leap into action at the slightest indication of a problem. Keeping communities and employees safe, while protecting our environment are our primary goals; nothing takes precedence over the health of Canadians and their surroundings. Take our quiz and see how we prepare for and respond to emergencies. ...
Canadian energy

Oh, Canada. We need to talk about energy. Openly and politely.

The conversation on energy has been, well, a little heated lately in Canada. The issues are important — important enough to be discussed in a patriotic and respectful way. You know, in a Canadian way. That’s the message in a new video from Calgary Economic Development, which is hoping to bring a little humour and perspective to the energy chat. As the video points out, Canadians may not see eye to eye on this topic, but one thing is for sure: Canada is at the heart of all things energy, including oil, gas, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and more. Furthermore, we all want to continue to make improvements to protect our air and water. That includes Canada’s biggest oil and gas companies, which is why they are investing billions in new technologies to develop renewables and improve operations. Still, for now – unless we all commit to riding around on a moose, with no shoes on (or little else) – Canadians need petroleum and its products. Oil and gas still power most of our vehicles and contribute to an incredible array of consumer goods. Canadians have to view our energy resources in a responsible but also a realistic light, says Calgary Economic Development. We at CEPA completely agree. Learn more about technological advancements and how they support our commitment to transporting products safely and responsibly through CEPA Integrity First®....
summer road trips fuel

Eight ways petroleum products fuel summer road trips

It’s July — a month that often signals road trip time, whether it’s off to a tourist destination or the family cabin. No matter where you’re headed, petroleum products delivered by CEPA members’ transmission pipelines are crucial to an enjoyable holiday. Safety first: You wouldn’t hit the road without doing some basic car maintenance, like getting an oil change or having good tires. Many of your car’s processes and components require oil and its by-products. Fill ‘er up: More than 90 per cent of vehicles on Canadian highways are powered by gasoline or diesel. These fuels contain no lead, a vanishingly small amount of sulphur, and provide the power to get you to your holiday destination. Crank the tunes: What’s a road trip without an epic soundtrack? The plastics used to make electronics, such as the phone connecting to your car stereo, are made with petrochemicals. Stop for a sip . . . : You’re going to need hydration. When you stop for a beverage, it’s likely to be contained in a safe-for-consumption bottle made from petroleum products. And a snack: That beef jerky and bag of chips are probably packaged in petroleum-based bags. Plus, how did they get to the store? Likely by truck, also powered by gasoline or diesel. You made it: The boat on the lake awaits! Not only will gas fuel your boat but many modern personal watercraft are made using fiberglass or heavy-duty plastics. Not to mention your life jacket uses nylon and plastic foams. Stay cool: Checked in at a hotel after a long day on the road? You’ll be glad for the air conditioning in your room and a long shower, often powered by natural gas or oil. Dinner time: Fire up the propane barbecue, throw the steaks on the grill, and relax. It’s the start of summer vacation.   No matter what your plans are, CEPA members are committed to delivering the energy that enables summer life in Canada....

What the pipeline jobs of tomorrow will look like

Adapting to change is nothing new to Canada’s oil and gas sector. Since its beginnings, the sector has embraced technology to make systems safer and more efficient, from drilling to pipeline transportation. Today, the industry stands on the cusp of a yet another revolution, spurred by societal changes and government regulations. And that means companies are seeking a new set of labour skills.To learn exactly how the labour market in oil and gas is about to change, Energy Safety Canada, through its labour market division PetroLMI, conducted research into what tomorrow’s jobs might look like and what skills people working in the industry will need. The resulting report, which was released in June, looks at where the opportunities lie for future careers in oil and gas. 3 trends affecting the labour market Breanne O’Reilly, advisor, communications and outreach for PetroLMI, says three trends are causing the labour market shifts: Regulatory changes, notably a framework to address climate change issues at the federal and provincial levels, and new Impact Assessment Act (IAA) Automation and data analytics Standardization of manufacturing processes   “It doesn’t change the jobs, but shifts the jobs to where the demand will be,” says O’Reilly of the manufacturing aspect. “We’re always interested in how technology can improve worksites; where can we get machines that will keep people safer? What else can we automate that might make our people less repetitive in their jobs and take away the mundane pieces so they can add value to their organizations?” A lot of the traditional, more hands-on mechanical jobs will still exist, but will require people to be more digitally literate, with more IT professionals required to manage the machines. What other changes are coming? Regulatory changes will also affect job descriptions, particularly because companies will require strong stakeholder and communication skills, says O’Reilly. The IAA calls for expanded Indigenous and public input into all projects, so skills in consultation, communication and expertise in Indigenous issues will be sought after. Analytics and data collection are also increasingly crucial to the oil and gas sector. In recent years, as the oil price dropped, companies have begun to take their data even more seriously. “We had collected a lot of data but never used it to the full extent. We hear more and more about how big data is being used, and I think the oil and gas industry is looking at how they can use their data better,” she says. “In pipelines, for instance, you look at how much digitization has increased in the last few years. We can monitor everything easier and make our jobs easier.” Next up: attracting young workers O’Reilly says the study suggested that the industry should focus on attracting young people to create the workforce for the future. Previously, the industry used financial incentives, but a lot of young people have more interest in a diverse work-life balance than previous generations. The industry will have to look at how they are recruiting young people. “We used to have 15 per cent of the workforce under 24 and now it’s half that,” says O’Reilly. For more information on how the oil and gas industry’s workforce is shifting, you can find the report here....

Does the low-carbon future include pipelines?

Do your vacation plans this summer include any flights? Or maybe you’re racking up the frequent flyer points travelling for business?Travel is among the activities that relies most heavily on pipelines. While progress is being made on electric ground transportation, there is no alternative to jet fuel on the near horizon. And jet fuel, as with all petroleum products, is safely and responsibly transported by pipeline. That’s just one of the ways pipelines will remain crucial in a low-carbon future. Another is providing much-needed energy to remote communities. In this video, Laszlo Varsanyi, Vice-president, New Ventures for Enbridge, answers the question: Does the low-carbon future include pipelines? ...

When was the best time to start building new pipelines?

Yesterday would have been a much better time to start building more Canadian pipeline capacity. That’s the message from CIBC Capital Markets economic analysts, who recently wrote an article for CIBC Capital Markets Economic Insights entitled Pipelines: Easing the Bottleneck.The authors explain how Canada’s economy is in dire need of more pipelines. They state that our current infrastructure is “designed to meet the needs of the past, less so the present, and clearly not the future.” Here are a few reasons why they believe that Canada needs the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) and other major pipeline projects, quickly. $12 billion dollars lost There are many factors that influence the price of Canadian oil. The distance we must transport Canadian oil, the fact that the vast majority of our product is currently only shipped to one customer (the US) without increased capacity to tidewater, as well as the type of oil Canada produces contribute to Western Canadian Select (WCS) being sold at a discount. When there isn’t enough room in the existing pipelines to ship product to market that discount becomes even greater. In fact, the lack of pipeline capacity and resulting inability to ship product has led to $12 billion in lost revenues over the past five years alone. That’s a lot of money that could go towards supporting healthcare, education and infrastructure in Canada. Hit to Canada’s GDP A lack of pipeline capacity is already impacting companies’ ability to get energy products to market, and this is expected to get worse before it gets better. Oil demand is increasing, and with that production in Canada will increase to 4.6 million barrels per day by 2020 – we will continue to produce more than we can ship until 2021 when Keystone XL and TMEP are expected to be in operation. This has a real and negative impact on Canada’s economy. A thriving energy sector is a thriving Canadian economy As the CIBC article states, “the future of Canada’s economy looks brighter when the energy sector is thriving in a sustainable manner, of which pipeline capacity is a crucial component.” It is better for all Canadians when we have a strong economy – that means more good jobs; more money for schools, roads and hospitals; and more government revenue to fund the social programs that Canadians take so much pride in. For more information on pipeline capacity constraints in Canada, see our recent posts Would refining more oil in Canada solve our pipeline capacity problem? and Why does Canada need more pipelines?....

How data is helping pipeline companies monitor water crossings

There is nothing like getting out for a walk after work on a warm spring day. The sun is still shining, the snow is all melting, and the rivers and streams that you stroll past are all rushing. It’s serene and relaxing.Unless you work for a pipeline operator and it’s your job to make sure those pipelines operate safely, day in and day out. In which case you see the fast and rising rivers as a geohazard that can erode riverbanks and beds, potentially exposing pipelines, and creating additional wear-and-tear on the pipe. Fortunately, there have been many advancements in monitoring technology over the years that have increased the ability of pipeline operators to measure stress and the effect that increased water flow is having on pipelines. One of these advancements is gX Insight, a joint initiative of Explore Integrity and GDM Pipelines which is specifically designed to bring together in-field execution and information management for pipeline integrity programs. To get more information on gX Insight and how it leads to safer pipelines, we spoke with GDM’s Jennifer Thornton. Jennifer says the goal of gX Insight is to help industry mitigate risks associated with pipeline water crossings. “We begin by identifying the location of all pipeline water crossings, and then apply a calculation to rank these crossings based on a number of factors,” she said. Those factors include the pipeline’s age, the size of the water body it crosses, the substance that is flowing through the pipeline and what material the pipeline is made of. “This gives companies a complete listing of water crossings, including a prioritized and categorized view, which enables them to identify where there is the highest potential for failure.” Once the list is in place, constant monitoring must be done since water bodies change over time. gX Insight has implemented a process using real-time gauge station and hydrology data – leveraging big data to protect water crossings by collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of data points. “This enables us to immediately identify any pipelines that could be impacted by a high-water event, thus allowing companies to proactively implement plans to mitigate any potential issues before they occur,” Thornton said. “Identifying and managing pipeline water crossings is a crucial part of any pipeline integrity program,” Thornton said. “Our goal is to help with this by identifying and prioritizing critical areas of focus.” CEPA members are committed to safely and responsibly delivering the energy that Canadians use every day. Learn more about how CEPA members protect water crossings....

What happens if a smart PIG gets stuck in a pipeline?

We get questions from Canadians all the time, and we do our best to answer them. If you have a question about pipelines, send it to us here.CEPA members are committed to operating their pipelines in the safest and most responsible way. To make sure pipelines are operating safely, they use a variety of monitoring systems that feed information back to control rooms in real-time. These monitoring systems will alert operators to any abnormalities in product flow, pressure, temperature or any number of other indicators that there may be an issue with the pipeline. While operators monitor their pipelines 24/7, they also have inspection programs to make sure their pipelines are structurally sound and in good working order. One method is in-line inspection using smart PIGs (pipeline inspection gauges). These high-tech tools have multiple sensors, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound technology, that inspect the pipeline from the inside for any signs of corrosion or other indications that the pipe may be at risk of cracking. You asked, “what happens if a smart PIG gets stuck in a pipeline?” Well, the short answer is that pipeline operators plan well in advance and take precautions to prevent a PIG from getting stuck. But, because they run inside the pipeline, there is a risk that they get lodged on a seam or buildup of material. In this video, Alasdair goes over just a couple of the ways that operators can try to get PIGs moving if they do happen to get stuck. ...