Pipeline integrity

Design, construct, inspect and maintain pipeline systems to protect people and the environment.

How CEPA members continuously improve performance

CEPA Integrity First® is a prime example of how Canada leads the world when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices.

Canadians can be proud that the transmission pipelines they count on follow the highest ESG practices thanks to programs like CEPA Integrity First. It was created by CEPA members with the purpose of continuously improving the performance of Canada’s energy pipeline industry to protect the environment and ensure the safety of those who live and work around pipelines.

Through Integrity First, CEPA members work collaboratively to share their knowledge and innovations to drive industry-wide performance improvements in pipeline safety and environmental protection. Integrity First enables pipeline companies to work together to make our industry better – focusing on safety, transparency and responsible operations – striving toward our goal of zero incidents.

7 key priorities:

Integrity First cycle
Integrity First ensures that each priority is put through a six-stage process that is built on a solid foundation of strategic communications and change management to drive continuous improvement.


Pipeline integrity means ensuring a pipeline and all its related components are safe for the life of the pipeline. CEPA members focus on continuously improving pipeline integrity through every aspect of the pipeline life cycle, including design, construction, operations, maintenance and retirement.

Priority commitments

Through CEPA Integrity First®, CEPA members have identified the following commitments for pipeline integrity:

  • Strive for zero incidents by applying strict standards and systems in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining pipelines.
  • Maintain and use detailed information and records to make informed decisions that support the pipeline integrity program.
  • Identify, evaluate and manage risks and hazards to protect the public, the environment and pipeline integrity.
  • Share lessons learned to support the ongoing safe operations of pipelines.
Priority stage

Integrity First ensures that each priority is put through a six-stage cycle that is supported by CEPA and built on a solid foundation of strategic communications and change management.

Find out more about the cycle and each stage.

2,020 Integrity digs

In 2019, CEPA member companies conducted 2,020 integrity digs to examine pipelines for defects and make repairs – that’s a total of 31,445 integrity digs since 2008. The number of integrity digs in any given year is not a set number. Each company decides when and where to perform an integrity dig, based on the results of in-line inspections and according to members’ operations and management programs.

38,937 Kilometres of in-line inspection

In 2019, CEPA members conducted in-line inspection runs on 38,937 kilometres of pipelines in Canada using highly sophisticated tools like smart pigs that examine pipelines from the inside to identify issues such as metal loss, dents and cracks that may require further investigation.

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.