4 charts showing Alberta’s pipeline performance in 2018

The number of high-consequence pipeline incidents in Alberta decreased by approximately eight percent in 2018, says a new report from the province’s energy regulator.

The AER released its third annual report on pipeline safety performance on Wednesday, showing a continued trend of decreased high consequence incidents. This is rated based on their impact on the public, land, environment, wildlife and livestock.

There were 24 high-consequence incidents in 2018, compared to 26 in 2017 and 29. Over the last 10 years, the most high-consequence incidents occurred in 2014, at 52.

The total number of incidents was essentially flat year-over-year, the AER reported, at 416 in 2018 compared to 415 in 2017. Overall, the AER data shows that pipeline incidents are decreasing while the total length of pipeline operating in Alberta increases.

“We’re pleased with this trend, but we’re not letting up,” said David Helmer, the AER’s director of industry performance and analytics.

He added that the regulator is continuing with efforts to drive industry performance and further decrease the number of high consequence pipeline incidents.

“The largest liquid release in 2018 was 335 cubic metres; just over two-thirds of the total number of pipeline releases were one cubic metre or less,” Helmer said in a video about the report on the AER website.

“We would expect to see this sort of a trend where you’d see lots of very small ones and very few large ones.”

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