Do landowners need to give permission for a pipeline on their land?

Yes, they do. Pipeline companies sometimes go through private land to deliver oil and gas to Canadians. CEPA members have formed relationships with many landowners over the years, and always engage in respectful conversations with them. Putting a pipeline through private property means operators are going to be working together with the landowner for some time, so CEPA members treat landowners as trusted neighbours and business partners.

Engaging consistently and respectfully

Sometimes the same landowner will be working with different pipeline operators. To ensure that every experience is consistent, CEPA members have developed guidelines for engaging with landowners. The Canadian Land Representatives Industry Orientation sets out common principles and values that land representatives (who work on behalf of the pipeline companies) must follow.

CEPA members have created a common easement agreement to ensure principles are maintained.

Putting a pipeline through private property means operators are going to be working together with the landowner for some time, so CEPA members treat landowners as trusted neighbours and business partners. Photo courtesy of Enbridge Pipelines.

Putting a pipeline through private property means operators are going to be working together with the landowner for some time, so CEPA members treat landowners as trusted neighbours and business partners. Photo courtesy of Enbridge Pipelines.

CEPA members sit down with landowners to address their concerns.

Negotiating for access

Pipeline routes often travel through private property, communities and government-owned land. To gain access to this land, pipeline companies enter into a dialogue with landowners to pay compensation for the use of their land. Most jurisdictions provide compensation to landowners for use of their land by pipelines companies. In the rare situation where an agreement cannot be reached, a mediation and arbitration process will be established through a regulator.

Landowners are paid for allowing pipeline companies to use their land.

You Asked

“Say you have a breach in a length of pipeline somewhere in the heart of the Rockies, and for argument’s sake, let’s say the breach is in the most remote area of the pipeline route. How long until the breach is detected, how long until the oil flow is stopped due to a pressure drop and the activation of the safety valves, and how long until it can be repaired?” – Alex O. (Burnaby, B.C.)
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