The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) is expected to complete its safety review of a report documenting Alberta’s 400,000 kilometres of provincially regulated energy pipelines, many of them up to 40 or 50 years old, by March 31, 2013, Alberta Energy has announced.
The ERCB has been analyzing the pipeline report since early 2013. The report was conducted by a Calgary engineering firm in 2012 following three pipeline spills, including a June 2012 spill that leaked some 475,000 litres of light sour crude oil into Glennifer Lake and the Red Deer River.
The ERCB intends to gauge whether the current regulatory framework around Alberta’s network of oil and natural gas pipelines is enough protection. In addition, the board wants to examine spill response measures, as well as pipeline integrity management near water.
The ERCB’s 2012 request-for-proposal for the pipeline review contract stated, “the purpose of the assessment is to determine if the regulatory requirements and best practices remain relevant and accurately reflect the risk profile of ERCB-regulated pipelines and to identify areas for improvement.”
In a January 2013 announcement to media, Alberta Energy spokesman Mike Deising announced that the public will be asked to comment on the pipeline report later in 2013.