Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) President and CEO Chris Bloomer has spoken to Pipelines International following the release of the association’s 2018 Transmission Pipeline Industry Performance Report.
CEPA’s Transmission Pipeline Industry Performance Report is assembled by the organisation’s members, and transparently outlines the Canadian transmission pipeline industry’s performance for the previous year.
“CEPA members represent the transmission pipeline industry in Canada,” said Mr Bloomer.
“They all agree that they do not compete on safety and have committed to work together and continuously improve.
“The vehicle for the industry collaboration is Integrity first and participation is a requirement for membership.”
Across Canada, CEPA members own and operate approximately 117,800 km of pipeline, delivering 5.7 Tcf of natural gas and 1.4 Bbbl of crude oil in 2017.
A major focus of the report is the advancement of the CEPA Integrity First® program, which aims to reach the goal of zero incidents through the development, review and application guidance documents.
“Within Integrity First there are three key areas that help to drive continuous improvement: safety, environment and socio-economic,” said Mr Bloomer.
“Under each of those areas are the different priorities for our industry.
“Those priorities have been established through research and feedback that has been gathered from the public, regulators and from industry.”
CEPA members share their knowledge and innovations to advance performance in 10 areas: emergency management, pipeline integrity, control room management, damage prevention, water protection, safety management, security, environmental stewardship, indigenous relations, and land use and access.
As part of developing a credible and consistent system, third party verification of members’ self-assessment process and adoption of the Integrity First program takes place; currently Environmental Resource Management CVS fills this role.
“Environmental Resource Management CVS was chosen through a competitive process based on specific criteria,” said Mr Bloomer.
“Going forward, every few years, the third-party verifier will be reviewed to ensure Integrity First maintains its standards.
“CEPA has established specific criteria for third-party verifiers including: value for money (for CEPA members), consistency of output, reputation, credentials and methodology.”
While the number of significant incidents has trended down over the past five years, three significant incidents occurred in 2017 – two liquids pipelines incidents and one natural gas pipeline incident – an increase from one in 2016.
As part of its commitment to safe operations, CEPA members take part in emergency response exercises throughout the year.
“We need to demonstrate and practice that commitment so that in the unlikely event that something does happen, we are prepared,” said Mr Bloomer.
“By using the management-system principles of plan, do, check, act, and practicing our response, we are proving our commitment.
“CEPA members held an average of 429 exercises per year over the past four years.
“That number can vary from year to year, based on how many pipelines a company has, when they last had an exercise, frequency of exercise and type of exercise.”
Using this knowledge, CEPA is prepared to assist in any emergency, keeping aligned with its ideal of keeping national best interests at the forefront of its contributions and activities.
“As an industry, we recognise that one company’s incident is an incident for all members,” said Mr Bloomer.
“People don’t differentiate between whose company had the incident. The Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement is designed to help protect what’s most important: people and the environment.
“During an emergency situation, CEPA members can call on each other to share additional human resources, equipment and tools to help increase their existing capabilities.
“This means that in the unlikely event of an incident, CEPA members, can call in industry-wide resources to deal with the response.
“By having access to knowledge and equipment from across our industry we can mount a better response and mitigate impacts.”
For more information visit the CEPA website.
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