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4 significant pipeline spills last year, oil and gas group says

There were 122 oil and gas spills and releases from pipelines last year in Canada — four of them "significant" — according to a report by the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.

Canadian Energy Pipeline Association releases first pipeline industry performance report

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) released its first transmission pipeline industry performance report on Tuesday. (TransCanada Corp.)

There were 122 oil and gas spills and releases from pipelines last year in Canada — four of them significant — according to an industry report released Tuesday.

"We know that we need to build public confidence and trust in our industry and we think this report will play a big part in that," said Brenda Kenny, who heads the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA).

The report comes of the heels of a massive spill from a Nexen Energy pipeline south of Fort McMurray in July, which ranks as one of the biggest oil spills in Alberta history.

A pipeline at Nexen's Long Lake oilsands site spilled about five million litres of bitumen, sand and produced water over a 16,000 square metre area.

Then in August, a pipeline owned by Calgary-based NuVista Energy spilled about 100,000 litres of a mixture of water, oil and gas near High Level in northwestern Alberta.

"The shared vision of CEPA and our member companies is zero pipeline incidents and to demonstrate to Canadians that we're serious about earning and keeping their trust," Kenny said, noting the industry's 99.99% safe delivery record.

The 2015 pipeline industry performance report, which looked at data from 2010 to 2014, says:

  • $2.9 billion was invested in maintaining and monitoring member pipeline systems in 2013 and 2014.
  • 45,306 kilometres of pipelines were inspected in 2014.
  • 335 emergency response exercises were held in 2014.
  • The rate of injuries to employees has decreased 25 per cent in the last five years.

CEPA member companies operate about 117,000 kilometres of pipeline across the country.

The network moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas last year.

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