TransCanada Corp.'s proposed west-east oil pipeline would be monitored "24/7," a project spokesperson told a business crowd in Fredericton on Monday.

TransCanada Corp. spokesperson Philippe Cannon

TransCanada Corp. spokesperson Philippe Cannon says the proposed Energy East oil pipeline would be monitored around the clock. (CBC)

Philippe Cannon was promoting the $12-billion Energy East pipeline during a luncheon co-hosted by the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Fredericton.

The Calgary-based company wants to convert 3,000 kilometres of existing natural gas pipeline and build about 1,600 kilometres of new pipeline in Quebec and New Brunswick.

Cannon stressed the safety aspects of the project to the business audience gathered at the Fredericton Inn.

"There are thousands of sensors that will be placed along the pipeline route. These sensors will relay information to our control centre in Calgary every five seconds," he said.

"If for example, a drop of pressure were to occur in the line, then they would know instantly what's going on, where exactly it is happening."

Pipeline opponents have raised concerns about safety and the environment.

A recent audit of TransCanada Corp.'s pipeline safety practices by the National Energy Board found the company non-compliant in four of nine areas examined: hazard identification, risk assessment and control; operational control in upset or abnormal operating condition; inspection, measurement and monitoring, and management review.

It is expected the west-east pipeline would transport 1.1 million barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta to the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John.

Cannon said he expects to proceed with a regulatory application by the middle of the year, with start-up slated for 2018.

The company filed a project description with the National Energy Board earlier this month.