Building a better energy future for Canada – safer, smarter, together.

About this report

Canadians have told us they want more transparency regarding the safety, environmental protection and socio-economic contributions of their natural gas and oil, as well as our ongoing efforts to ensure their energy is transported responsibly.

The 2020 Transmission Pipeline Industry Performance Report captures CEPA member performance in 2019. This voluntary report produced by CEPA (our sixth annual) is part of our industry’s commitment to transparency and accountability as CEPA members work together to share best practices, learn from one another and collectively improve the entire industry.

Learn more about CEPA

Message from the President & CEO and Board Chair

Read letters


Who is CEPA?

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) consists of the transmission pipeline companies responsible for transporting the majority of Canada’s natural gas and crude oil to markets across North America.

For 27 years, CEPA members have been working together to safely and responsibly transport the natural gas and oil that Canada and the world need. Thanks to ongoing collaboration and best practices facilitated through programs like CEPA Integrity First®, CEPA members’ efforts have resulted in technology, innovation, safety and environmental protection practices that rank among the best in the world — practices that CEPA members are continuously improving.

Canadians will need natural gas and oil long into the future to fuel life and prosperity in Canada. CEPA members are committed to working together to deliver your energy in the safest, most responsible way.

What are transmission pipelines?
A safety culture

CEPA members are continuously improving safety practices that are already among the best in the world.
Safety culture refers to the beliefs and attitudes an organization and its people have toward safety. One of CEPA’s goals is to enhance an already strong safety culture across all its member companies. Safety is the top priority of all members, and, working together, we are making our collective safety culture stronger every day.

Safety isn’t just a principle — it’s an ingrained belief, a discipline that influences every CEPA member employee’s actions, from the people in the field to the president, ensuring the highest standards are set and followed. CEPA Integrity First® is key to driving these standards even higher.

CEPA Members in 2019
How we collaborate

Collaboration is a key pillar of how Canada has developed safety and ESG practices that rank among the highest in the world.
One of CEPA’s key roles in leading continuous improvement is through collaborating with stakeholders engaged in Canada’s energy future, including all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, industry organizations and CEPA members.

CEPA members work with all levels of government to continually improve regulations to enhance pipeline safety and performance.

  • Collaborated with Natural Resources Canada in the passing of the Pipeline Safety Act.
  • Participated in the federal government’s review of Canada’s environmental assessment and regulatory processes. The Impact Assessment Act and Canadian Energy Regulator Act – Bill C-69 – overhauled both the National Energy Board Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, changing how major infrastructure projects are reviewed and approved in Canada. We also participated in the review of The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act – Bill C-48 – which is a moratorium against large (more than 12,500 metric tonnes) oil tanker traffic off northern BC, from the northern tip of Vancouver Island up to Alaska.
  • Participated in reviews for the Navigation Protection Act and Fisheries Act.
  • Collaborated with British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy on developing an enhanced land-based spill-response regime for BC.
  • Collaborated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Security Intelligence Service to improve security of energy infrastructure.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
There are many NGOs that work with the energy industry in Canada. CEPA engages with leading NGOs to drive continuous improvement across the industry.

  • CEPA works closely with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to develop codes and standards for the construction and operation of pipelines. Our efforts involve multi-stakeholder partnerships that include federal, provincial and municipal governments; industry; labour; emergency response groups; public interest groups and academics.
  • We worked with CSA Group and a diverse group of stakeholders from 2017 to 2019 to complete CSA Z260:19, Pipeline System Safety Metrics Standard. This new standard provides a framework that can be used by industry, regulators and governments to categorize pipeline incidents, based on their potential level of harm, to better inform stakeholders on the state of pipeline safety and environmental performance.
  • CEPA works with groups like the Pipeline Safety Trust and the Canadian Common Ground Alliance to promote pipeline safety through education and advocacy.
  • We work with the Canada Energy Regulator, L’Union des producteurs agricoles, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada to establish guidelines for safe, economic and environmentally sound pipeline retirement.

CEPA Communities of Practice and Work Groups
The key to the industry’s continuous improvement is collaboration — CEPA members do not compete on safety and environmental protection. Hundreds of representatives from CEPA member companies meet in 17 different communities of practice and work groups, sharing advances in technology and operational practices so that all members can improve their performance. Each community of practice or work group contributes to a key area of Canada’s pipeline industry.

  • Damage prevention
  • Public awareness
  • Environment
  • Emergency management
  • Safety management
  • Control room management
  • Management systems
  • Pipeline integrity
  • In-line inspection
  • Geohazard management
  • Corrosion control
  • Security
  • Cyber security
  • Climate change
  • Indigenous affairs
  • Property tax
  • Regulatory policy

Industry groups
CEPA members work with a wide range of industry groups to leverage our efforts and advance the technology of safety and environmental protection.

  • Collaborated with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers to explore better ways to clean up marine spills.
  • Collaborated with Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada to boost innovation, research and technological developments within the pipeline industry.
  • Collaborated with Pipeline Research Council International, an organization that brings together pipeline companies from around the world to explore ways to improve energy pipeline systems.
  • Created the Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement (MEAA) that calls on member companies to pool resources and help one another in the unlikely event of a major incident.
  • Participated in regular Joint Emergency Management Exercises (JEME) to practice unified incident response under MEAA.

Read more

How we communicate

Letting Canadians know their natural gas and oil are among the most responsible in the world.
One of CEPA’s primary goals is to keep Canadians well informed about the roles natural gas and oil transmission pipelines play in supporting life in Canada and around the world. To do this, we spend time listening to our stakeholders through engagement opportunities on social media, our Pipeline Dialogue events and extensive consumer research.

Digital and social media
Aboutpipelines.com, particularly the About Pipelines blog, is full of useful information about how your natural gas and oil are transported. CEPA also keeps Canadians informed and engages in conversations on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Annual Pipeline Industry Performance Report (this report)
We want to have a conversation about pipelines and energy with Canadians. Our Transmission Pipeline Industry Performance Report is meant to support open dialogue on pipeline performance, environmental protection and socio-economic contributions to Canada.

Direct engagement with Canadians
First in 2018 and again in 2019, we convened Pipeline Dialogue events. The goal of these engagement sessions is to listen to the perspectives and expectations of stakeholders interested in the transmission pipeline industry in Canada.

At these events, CEPA members sat down for frank and open discussions with Indigenous organizations, municipal organizations, landowner groups, labour unions, non-governmental organizations, academic/research institutions, regulators and young professionals.

In addition, we conduct regular research across Canada to explore a number of key issues, including community collaboration, respectful and meaningful engagement with Indigenous peoples, public confidence and energy policy and regulation.

Policy leadership for climate change
Increasing world population and the growing global economy mean energy demand is rising. Forecasts indicate natural gas and oil will still provide the majority of the world’s energy in 2040. CEPA recognizes the challenge and has developed a policy position to balance the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while also ensuring people and businesses around the world have access to reliable and affordable sources of energy. Read more about our climate change policy

Policy leadership for Indigenous partnerships
CEPA is enhancing our guiding principles related to our industry’s relationship with Indigenous groups to initiate a clear, transparent and collaborative dialogue with all parties that enables our members to:

  • Identify and adopt the best practices for Indigenous engagement in the context of the spirit and intent of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and emerging legislative and regulatory requirements.
  • Meet regulatory responsibilities with clarity and certainty.
  • Establish relationships, partnerships and collaborations with Indigenous groups that are based on mutual respect.

Read more about our policy leadership for Indigenous partnerships.

Read more

How we unite the entire pipeline industry (CEPA Foundation)

Together we are setting the highest standards in the world.
While CEPA pools the expertise of Canada’s transmission pipeline operators, CEPA Foundation brings together companies from across the pipeline industry to collaborate on improving the safe transmission of oil and gas in Canada. These key industry players are vital components of the success of the pipeline industry, and we believe our collective voice can implement change and improve the industry. No other foundation exists in Canada where energy pipeline industry leaders are brought together, under one roof, to solve industry issues in a collaborative and engaging manner.

The Foundation includes over one hundred firms encompassing engineering, design, construction, manufacturing, pipeline maintenance, legal, land and environmental services working together to continuously improve safety, environmental stewardship, quality, social responsibility and innovation. They work together to share ideas, develop solutions and promote research to continue to improve energy pipeline performance.

For more information visit CEPA Foundation.

Read more

How the industry prevents third-party damage

Engaging with the public to keep pipelines safe.
Third-party damage to pipelines is one of the leading causes of significant incidents. Preventing pipeline damage is a shared responsibility between operators, regulators and the public. That’s why if you are planning to undertake a digging project – large or small – always call or click before you dig and always use extreme caution.

CEPA is committed to supporting the Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) and one-call centres in all provinces and territories in which its member companies operate. Companies, employees and contractors are urged to “Click Before You Dig” and use web-based/online notifications whenever possible.

You can connect to any Canadian web-based contact centre in French or English by visiting ClickBeforeYouDig.com.

Read more

Safety is our top priority

Pipelines are the safest way to transport the energy Canada and the world need. In fact, Canadian transmission pipelines are among the safest in the world.

In 2019, Canada’s 118,500-kilometre network of transmission pipelines moved 100 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and 92 per cent of Canada’s onshore crude oil production to the people who need it.

Out of 1.7 billion barrels of oil transported by CEPA members, a total of 9.4 barrels were spilled and all were recovered. While this is only a tiny percentage of oil transported, no amount spilled is acceptable to CEPA members, who work toward a common goal of zero incidents.

CEPA members work together to continuously improve what are already among the highest safety standards, and best safety records, in the world. Over 38,000 kilometres of transmission pipelines were inspected from the inside in 2019, and over 2,000 integrity digs were performed to check any anomalies identified. Hundreds of exercises were performed to ensure CEPA member companies’ emergency response teams are prepared. Over $1.5 billion was spent on monitoring to ensure that your energy was delivered safely.

Canada and the world will need natural gas and oil long into the future, and CEPA members transport these resources in the safest, most responsible way.