Pipeline Profiles: Enbridge Mainline

Pipeline description

Section updated January 2023

Disclaimer

The Pipeline Profiles interactive maps provide publicly accessible information about CER-regulated pipeline systems. These maps provide information about the pipeline systems we regulate and allow the user to zoom in and view nearby communities and other geographic features.

The information displayed on this map is not meant to be comprehensive, and some datasets have been filtered to show only the most relevant information. Please see the Interactive Pipeline Map to see a more comprehensive picture of CER-regulated pipelines.

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Terms of Use

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) provides this information for personal and non-commercial uses. The information contained in this map is based on externally sourced information. The CER makes no representations regarding the accuracy of this information. The CER accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccuracies, errors or omissions in the data and any loss, damage or costs incurred as a result of using or relying on the map data in any way.

The pipeline data contained in this map is subject to licensing terms and may not be reproduced, published, distributed or transferred in whole or in part. The map also contains information license under the Open Government License - Canada.

The Canadian Energy Regulator is bound by the Official Language Act and relevant Treasury Board policies. However, some material on these pages originates from organizations not subject to the Official Languages Act and is made available on this project page in the language in which it was written.

Sources and Description

Sources

The information contained in these maps is obtained from the following sources: Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (BCOGC) (Provincially Regulated Pipelines), CER, from various reports (Oil and Gas Resources) U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) (U.S. Pipelines); Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) (The Community Map of Canada); Geomatics Data Management Inc. (GDM) (CER-regulated pipelines); Government of Canada: Natural Resources Canada, and Surveyor General Branch (Indigenous Lands); Government of Canada: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (Modern and Historic Treaties); North American Cooperation on Energy Information (NACEI) (Power Plants).

Description

This map displays the Enbridge Mainline pipeline system as well as connected pipelines, refineries, and terminals. The Enbridge Mainline originates in Edmonton, Alberta and extends east across the Prairies. The pipeline crosses the Canada-U.S. border near Gretna, Manitoba, where it joins with the Enbridge Lakehead System (the U.S. Section of the Mainline). At Sarnia, Ontario, the Lakehead System connects with Line 7 and Line 11, which are part of the Enbridge Mainline. These pipelines continue to Westover and Nanticoke, Ontario, respectively.

History

  • The Canadian Mainline is the longest oil pipeline in Canada and the largest of four major crude oil export pipelines from western Canada.
  • Enbridge owns and operates the Enbridge Mainline, which includes the Canadian Mainline and the Lakehead System (U.S. Mainline).
  • Enbridge was incorporated in 1949 as Interprovincial Pipe Line Company. The Enbridge name was adopted in 1998.
  • Line 1 was the first pipeline to be built on the Mainline network. It connected Edmonton to refineries in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Wisconsin.
  • Line 1 was built in 1950, three years after the major crude oil discovery near Leduc, Alberta. A total of 30.6 million barrels of oil were shipped in the first full year of operations.
  • Line 1 is still in service today and continues to transport natural gas liquids, refined products, and light crude oil at a capacity of 237,000 barrels per day.

Operations

  • The Enbridge Mainline is made up of eight pipelines in Canada and 12 pipelines in the U.S., amounting to 26,000 km of pipeline.
  • There are 13 key terminals along the Mainline to facilitate receipts and deliveries on and off the system and manage flow rates.
  • The Hardisty Terminal is the most important crude oil storage hub in Canada, with about 13 million barrels in capacity.
  • The Enbridge Mainline transports crude oil, refined petroleum products, and natural gas liquids.
  • Commodities are shipped in batches to minimize contamination, and only certain lines can transport certain products.
  • Transit times vary depending on the destination, ranging from two to 30 days. For example, a batch from Edmonton to Chicago will take 20 days.
  • The Canadian Mainline had a total capacity of approximately 3 million barrels per day in 2021. This has increased from around 2.1 million barrels per day in 2010.
  • Over the years, Enbridge has filed several facility applications to expand the system's capacity, such as the Alberta Clipper Expansion Project [Folder 465178] and the Line 3 Replacement Program.
  • Each pipeline that is part of the Mainline has a different capacity. The pipeline diameters range from 16 inches to 48 inches.

Markets

  • The Enbridge Mainline transports western Canadian crude oil to refineries in eastern Canada and the U.S. Midwest. It also connects to other pipelines, including the CER-regulated Keystone Pipeline, Express Pipeline, and Wascana Pipeline. These pipelines provide access to the U.S. Rockies and U.S. Gulf Coast markets.
  • The Mainline ships the most petroleum products of any Canadian pipeline at about three million barrels each day. That's around 70% of Canada's total ability to ship oil from western Canada to market.
  • Western Canadian crude oil is shipped to refineries in Ontario and Quebec on the Enbridge Mainline and Line 9, supplying most of the refined petroleum products needed in those areas.

Recent Projects

  • The Alberta Clipper Pipeline (Line 67) begins in Edmonton, Alberta, and ends in Superior, Wisconsin. It transports crude oil from the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin to refineries in the U.S. and Ontario.
  • The NEB approved the construction of the Canadian portion of the pipeline in February 2008. The pipeline started operating in April 2010 at an initial capacity of 450,000 barrels per day [Folder 465178].
  • In July 2015, the Alberta Clipper Expansion Project was completed, and the pipeline’s capacity increased to 800,000 barrels per day.
  • Line 3/93 (formerly known only as Line 3) is one of six lines that form part of the Enbridge Mainline exiting western Canada. It is a crude oil pipeline that runs from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin. The portion of the pipeline from Edmonton to Hardisty, Alberta, is known as Line 3, and following the Line 3 Replacement Program, the portion from Hardisty to Superior is now known as Line 93.
  • The Line 3 Replacement Program [Folder 2545522] replaced aging pipeline infrastructure with approximately 1,096 km of new pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, and Gretna, Manitoba. Enbridge has also replaced the U.S. portion of the pipeline. The new Line 93 fully entered service in October 2021, restoring the pipeline to its original design capacity of 760,000 barrels per day (prior to replacement, Enbridge had voluntarily reduced the capacity to 390,000 barrels per day).
  • Line 5 transports 540,000 barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas liquids from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario.
  • It supplies approximately 55% of Michigan's propane needs. Also, together with Enbridge's Line 78, it feeds ten refineries in Sarnia, eastern Michigan, northwest Ohio, Quebec, and western Pennsylvania. These refineries produce gas, diesel, and jet fuel for regional markets.
  • In November 2020, the State of Michigan notified Enbridge Inc. that the 1953 easement allowing it to operate Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, which connect Lake Michigan to Lake Huron, is being revoked and terminated.
  • In January 2021, Enbridge disputed the notice and requested that the United States District Court dismiss the State of Michigan’s action, and continued to operate the pipeline.
  • In November 2021, the United States District Court determined that the case is properly in federal court. As a result, the State of Michigan dropped its case to enforce its November 2020 notice. Enbridge continues to pursue its case in federal court to affirm federal jurisdiction over Line 5.
  • In December 2018, Enbridge announced an agreement with the State of Michigan for the Great Lakes Tunnel Project. The tunnel would be built below the lakebed of the Straits of Mackinac to house a replacement section of Line 5. The current segment would be permanently shut down.
  • Enbridge is currently pursuing the necessary approvals and permits for the Tunnel Project, including from the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). In July 2022, the MPSC reopened the record in Enbridge’s application for relocation of Line 5 to a tunnel beneath the Straits.

Indigenous Monitoring - Enbridge Line 3 Replacement

  • Indigenous peoples, the Government of Canada, and the CER worked together to create the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committees (IAMCs).
  • The IAMC-Line 3 Indigenous Monitoring Program supports Indigenous monitors to participate in verifying compliance activities through in-field inspections.
  • Involving Indigenous monitors has enhanced the CER’s awareness and understanding of the diversity of Indigenous traditional and cultural practices, including specific expertise in traditional land use, sacred sites, and historical knowledge.
  • See the CER’s Indigenous Monitoring program page for more details.

The Enbridge Canadian Mainline system (Mainline) is Canada’s largest transporter of crude oil, moving western Canadian crude oil production to markets in eastern Canada and the U.S. Midwest. The Mainline also transports refined petroleum products to Saskatchewan and Manitoba and natural gas liquids to the U.S. Midwest and into Sarnia, Ontario. The original pipeline from Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin was built in 1950. In 1953 it was extended to Sarnia, Ontario. The Mainline has been expanded and upgraded during the last thirty years to its current configuration and capacity. CER-regulated assets include approximately 6 600 km of operating pipeline and various auxiliary infrastructure.

The Mainline originates in Edmonton, Alberta and extends east across the Prairies. The pipeline crosses the Canada-U.S. border near Gretna, Manitoba, where it joins with the Enbridge Lakehead System (U.S. Section of the Mainline). At Superior, Wisconsin the Lakehead System branches into two segments. The northern segment, Line 5, passes through northern Wisconsin and Michigan, including under the Straits of Mackinac, before crossing into Ontario at Sarnia. The southern segment (Lines 6, 14 and 61) contours south of Lake Michigan, passing through the Chicago area en-route to Flanagan, Illinois where there are interconnects with downstream pipelines and storage facilities. The southern segment also includes Line 78, which originates near Griffiths/Hartsdale in Indiana and extends northeast towards Ontario, terminating near Sarnia, Ontario. From Sarnia, Lines 7 and 11 continue to Westover and Nanticoke in Ontario. Also from Sarnia, the Mainline connects with Line 9.

The Mainline directly connects to 14 refineries and connects to a number of pipelines including CER-regulated lines (Keystone Pipeline, Express Pipeline, Wascana Pipeline) as well as U.S. regulated lines (Spearhead, Flanagan South, Mustang, Toledo, and Southern Access Extension). The directly connected Canadian refineries include Cooperative Refinery Complex in Regina as well as four refineries in Ontario (two in Sarnia, and one in each of Nanticoke and Corunna).

Official CER documents related to the construction, operation and maintenance of the Enbridge Mainline pipeline can be found here: Enbridge Mainline regulatory documents [Folder 92263].

You can see the Enbridge Mainline and all CER-regulated pipelines on the CER’s Interactive Pipeline Map. The map shows more detailed location information, the products carried by each pipeline, the operating status and more. There is also a map on Enbridge’s website.

Key points on the Enbridge Canadian Mainline include (see map below):

  • Cromer/Regina
  • ex-Gretna
  • into-Sarnia

Other major receipt and delivery points:

  • Edmonton, Alberta: the Canadian Mainline receives western Canadian crude oil from feeder pipelines.
  • Hardisty, Alberta: the Canadian Mainline receives western Canadian crude oil from feeder pipelines. Hardisty is also a delivery point for the Canadian Mainline.
  • Kerrobert, Saskatchewan: receipt and delivery point for the Canadian Mainline.
  • Milden, Saskatchewan: delivery point for the Canadian Mainline.
  • Stony Beach, Saskatchewan: delivery point for the Canadian Mainline.
  • Regina, Saskatchewan: the Canadian Mainline receives U.S. crude oil from the Wascana Pipeline and connects to the Cooperative Refinery Complex.
  • Cromer, Manitoba: the Canadian Mainline receives U.S. crude oil from the Enbridge Bakken pipeline and Canadian oil from the Westspur Pipeline.
  • Near Gretna, Manitoba: the pipeline crosses the Canada-U.S. border and joins with the Enbridge Lakehead system. Delivery point for the Canadian Mainline.
  • Clearbrook, Minnesota: the U.S. Mainline receives U.S. crude oil from the Enbridge North Dakota pipeline and connects with the Minnesota Pipe Line that can deliver crude oil to refineries in Minnesota and Wood River, Illinois.
  • Superior, Wisconsin: delivery point for the U.S. Mainline.
  • Lockport, Illinois: delivery point for the U.S. Mainline.
  • Mokena, Illinois: receipt and delivery point for the U.S. Mainline.
  • Flanagan, Illinois: delivery point for the U.S. Mainline.
  • Griffith, Indiana: receipt and delivery point for the U.S. Mainline.
  • Stockbridge, Michigan: receipt and delivery point for the U.S. Mainline.
  • Rapid River, Michigan: delivery point for the U.S. Mainline.
  • Marysville, Michigan: delivery point for the U.S. Mainline.
  • Lewiston, Michigan: receipt point for the U.S. Mainline.
  • Corunna/Sarnia, Ontario: the Mainline connects with Line 9, which delivers crude oil to Montreal, Quebec. Also a delivery point for the Canadian Mainline and connection with the Sarnia refineries.
  • Westover: receipt and delivery point for the Canadian Mainline.
  • Nanticoke: delivery point for the Canadian Mainline and connection with the Imperial Oil Refinery.
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Throughput and capacity

Section updated quarterly (early March, mid-May, mid-August and mid-November)

Select key point:

Select units:

Key Point Map
Key Point Trends
Key Point Description

Note: The physical capacity of a pipeline is based on many factors such as the products being carried, direction of flow, pipeline pumping capacity, and maintenance work or other pressure restrictions. The actual physical capacity of the pipeline may, at times, be higher than the assumed operational capacity stated here.

Dashboard instructions
  • Click on a key point button above the chart & map to view traffic at a different location. The map shows approximate locations on the pipeline where throughputs & capacity are recorded by the pipeline operator.
  • Click and drag your mouse on the area chart to zoom into the desired date range. Click on the Reset Zoom button to reset the full date range.
  • Click on the chart legend items below the chart to remove & add sections of data as required.
  • The key point trends are calculated using quarterly average traffic at the key point. Natural gas throughput trends are displayed year over year (last full quarter of data compared to the same quarter last year). Crude oil and liquids key point trends are displayed quarter over quarter (last full quarter of data compared to the previous quarter).

Note: The five-year average is calculated for natural gas key points using the total throughput across all trade types and direction of flows. For bi-directional key points (both export and import) the throughput is displayed for both directions, instead of the five-year average.

Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above dashboard displays pipeline throughput and capacity at key point(s) along the system. Where possible, the five-year average and five-year range for throughput is shown with the current year throughput to better highlight the trends. For pipeline key points with a defined location, a map is displayed next to the graph showing the approximate key point location where pipeline throughput and capacity are recorded.

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Facilities

Section updated April 2021

Enbridge has filed several facility applications over the last number of years to expand capacity and optimize configuration. The Enbridge Canadian Mainline transports about 58% of all Canadian crude oil exports. Available capacity on the Enbridge Canadian Mainline has increased from around 2.1 million barrels per day (MMb/d) (333.9 10³ m³/d) in 2010 to almost 3 MMb/d (477 10³ m³/d) in 2020.

In 2014 and 2015, Enbridge completed the Canadian portions of the Alberta Clipper (Line 67) Expansion Project ([Folder 873410] and [Folder 1019340]), increasing capacity by a total of 0.35 MMb/d (55.6 10³ m³/d) to the full design capacity of 0.8 MMb/d (127 10³ m³/d). This, together with flexibility enhancements, has resulted in higher throughputs on the Enbridge Mainline.

In 2014, Enbridge filed an application with the NEB for the Line 3 Replacement Program [Folder 2545522], which would restore capacity of the pipeline to 0.76 MMb/d (121 10³ m³/d). With the recommendation of the NEB, the Governor in Council approved the project in November 2016.

The $5.3-billion Canadian portion of the Line 3 Replacement Program went into service in December 2019. With the new replacement line operational, the existing Line 3 pipeline in Canada will be decommissioned in accordance with regulatory requirements. In December 2020, Enbridge received the final permit from Minnesota state regulators for the US$2.9 billion U.S. portion of Line 3 yet to be replaced. Construction has begun on that final segment of Line 3.

In 2018, Enbridge and Westover Express filed a joint application with the NEB [Folder 3562780] for the sale of Line 10 to Westover Express Pipeline Limited, a subsidiary of United Refining Company. United Refining Company owns a refinery in Warren, Pennsylvania that receives crude oil from Line 10 and the Kiantone Pipeline. In May 2019 the CER granted leave to sell Line 10.

On 13 November 2020, the State of Michigan notified Enbridge Inc. that the 1953 easement allowing it to operate Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac is being revoked and terminated. The notice, which Enbridge is disputing, requires Enbridge to cease operations of the dual pipelines in the Straits by May 2021. On 12 January 2021, Enbridge issued a letter stating that its review showed the State lacked the authority to terminate or revoke the 1953 easement.

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Nomination and Verification Procedures

Section updated June 2020

Pipeline tariffs specify the procedures by which shippers are to submit nominations for transportation service, including the form and timing of nominations. The tariffs also set out the rights and authorities of pipeline companies to verify nominations. The CER regulates and determines compliance with tariffs for pipelines under its jurisdiction, which include the major export pipelines from western Canada. Pipeline companies and shippers are required to follow the rules and regulations of transportation service as set out in the tariffs.

Enbridge uses three types of verification on the Mainline. First, supply is verified by requiring each shipper to submit a certificate, executed by an officer of the shipper company, confirming that the shipper has the capability and intent to tender each crude type and volume, and that the nomination has not been inflated to factor in apportionment. Second, volumes must be verified by the connecting upstream facility. Third, each downstream destination facility must submit monthly verification affidavits, attesting that it is capable of receiving, and intends to receive, the crude oil volumes nominated to it.

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Apportionment

Section updated January 2023

A shipper must submit nominations each month it wishes to move its oil on a pipeline. Shippers must submit nominations for both committed (or contracted) transportation service, if available, as well as uncommitted transportation service. If the total volume of nominations for uncommitted capacity is more than what is available, the pipeline company must “apportion” the nominations.

Apportionment is the percentage by which each shipper’s nominated volume is reduced in order to match the pipeline’s uncommitted capacity. Generally, apportionment is applied equally across all shippers seeking to use that capacity: for example, if shipper A nominates 100 barrels and shipper B nominates 1 000 barrels, then, under 10% apportionment, shipper A will be able to ship 90 barrels, and shipper B will ship 900 barrels.

The Enbridge Canadian Mainline consists of multiple different lines, and apportionment can vary depending on the line and key point. In a given month, some lines may be apportioned while others may not be. The interactive graph below shows data for nominations and apportionment on the Enbridge Mainline.

Select units:

Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The first chart displays pipeline nomination data for the Enbridge Canadian Mainline at the system level. Original nominations are shown as a blue area on the chart, and accepted nominations are shown as a yellow line. The second series of charts shows detailed apportionment data at the key point level for the Enbridge Canadian Mainline.

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Tolls

Section updated April 2021

A toll is the price charged by a pipeline company for transportation and other services. Tolls allow pipeline companies to safely operate and maintain pipelines. Tolls also provide funds for companies to recover capital (the money used to build the pipeline), pay debts, and provide a return to investors. The interactive graph below shows the tolls for key paths on the pipeline since 2006.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available.

Mainline tolls are set according to a negotiated settlement, the Competitive Toll Settlement (CTS), which is in effect from 2011 until 2021. The tolls are fixed, meaning they don’t change a lot from year to year. However, tolls are adjusted annually with the gross domestic product index and other factors. Because tolls are fixed, if throughput decreases Enbridge faces additional financial risks compared to the previous cost of service tolling method. Shippers pay international joint tolls for crude oil shipped from Canada to the U.S., or Canadian tolls for crude oil shipped solely within Canada. These tolls are based on volumes, the various pipeline routes (combinations of receipt and delivery points) and the qualities of the crude oil to be shipped.

The Enbridge Mainline currently provides entirely uncommitted capacity to its shippers. In December 2019, Enbridge filed an application with the CER for approval of a new service and tolling framework, seeking to have it in place when the current CTS expires. Enbridge proposed to offer long-term contracts on the Canadian Mainline for up to 90% of the capacity, with at least 10% of capacity remaining available for uncommitted service. In November 2021, the Commission released its decision and did not approve Enbridge’s Application [Folder 3895249]. As of February 2022, the Canadian Mainline continues to operate on existing interim tolls.

Official CER documents related to the traffic, tolls and tariffs for the Enbridge Mainline can be found here: Enbridge Mainline toll documents [Folder 155829].

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Abandonment funding

Section updated June 2020

The CER requires pipeline companies to set aside funds to safely cease operations of a pipeline at the end of its useful life. In 2016, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. estimated it would cost $1 743 million to do this for the Enbridge Mainline. These funds will be collected over 40 years and are being set aside in a trust.

Table 1: Enbridge Mainline’s abandonment trust fund balance
  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Trust fund balance ($) 33 800 000 80 181 000 120 700 000 182 600 000 226 100 000

Official CER documents related to abandonment funding can be found here, sorted by year and by company: abandonment funding documents [Folder 3300366].

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Financial information

Financial resource requirements

Section updated April 2021

The Canada Energy Regulator Act requires major oil pipeline companies to set aside $1 billion to pay for the costs of any incident that occurs, such as a spill. See sections 136 to 142 of the Act for more information. Enbridge Pipelines Inc. demonstrated that it has financial resources in excess of $1 billion dollars. Official CER documents related to Enbridge’s financial resources can be found here: Enbridge financial resources requirements documents [Folder 2955535].

Enbridge Mainline financial information

Section updated April 2021

Pipeline companies report important financial information to the CER quarterly or annually. A strong financial position enables pipeline companies to maintain their pipeline systems, attract capital to build new infrastructure, and meet the market’s evolving needs. The data in this table comes from Annual Filing of CTS (Competitive Toll Settlement) Reports [Folder 805818] with the CER.

The Enbridge Mainline operates under a negotiated settlement.

Table 2: Enbridge Mainline financial data (excludes Lines 8 and 9)
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Net plant (million $) 5 193 5 683 6 387 8 785 8 824 8 952 8 857 13 608 12 314
Revenues (million $) - - - - - 2 805 1 692 3 423 3 586
Corporate financial information

Section updated June 2021

The Enbridge Mainline is owned by Enbridge Pipelines Inc., a subsidiary of Enbridge Inc. In addition to the Canadian portion of the Enbridge Mainline, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. also owns the Canadian portion of the Southern Lights Pipeline, as well as renewable power generation assets. Credit ratings continue to be investment grade.

Credit ratings provide an idea of the financial strength of a company, including its ability to attract capital to build new infrastructure and meet financial obligations. The credit ratings below are expert opinions of how likely the debt issuer is to live up to its obligations.

Table 3: Enbridge Pipelines Inc. credit ratings
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
DBRS credit rating A A A A A A A A A
S&P credit rating A- A- A- BBB+ BBB+ BBB+ BBB+ BBB+ BBB+
Financial regulatory audits

Section updated June 2020

The CER audits pipeline companies to confirm compliance with the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, regulations, CER orders and CER decisions. Financial regulatory audits focus on toll and tariff matters such as detecting cross-subsidies. Enbridge Mainline’s last audit was completed in December 2009. Official CER documents related to Enbridge Mainline’s financial regulatory audits can be found here: [Folder 587320]

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Safety and Environment

Conditions Compliance

Section updated January 2023

Every pipeline company in Canada must meet federal, provincial or territorial, and local requirements. This includes Acts, Regulations, rules, bylaws, and zoning restrictions. Pipelines are also bound by technical, safety, and environmental standards along with company rules, protocols and management systems. In addition to these requirements, the Commission may add conditions to regulatory instruments that each company must meet. Conditions are project-specific and are designed to protect public and the environment by reducing possible risks identified during the application process.

Condition compliance is part of the CER's oversight and enforcement action is taken when required.

Conditions can be related to a specific region, or apply to the pipeline project as a whole. The map below displays the number of in progress and closed conditions mapped to economic regions as defined by Statistics Canada.

Conditions can typically be either in-progress or closed. The CER follows up on in-progress conditions.

In-Progress

This status refers to conditions that continue to be monitored by the CER. This happens when:

  • condition filings have not yet been received by the CER; or,
  • filings have been received but are under review or do not yet meet requirements; or,
  • a project is not completed and it has conditions, which have not been met; or,
  • a project has a post-construction condition, but a requirement has not yet been completed; or,
  • some conditions may be active indefinitely or refer to the continued operation of a pipeline.
Closed

This status refers to:

  • condition requirements that have been satisfied, and no further submissions from the company are required; or
  • conditions whose filings or actions apply to a specific phase that have been fulfilled as the phase is completed (i.e. a specific filing during construction phase). Note: comments on the required actions can still be received.

Dashboard instructions
  1. Click on a region to view conditions info
  2. Click map area outside of regions to hide info

Note: Some conditions apply to multiple regions. Conditions may be double counted across regions, resulting in a higher number of conditions than the totals seen in the buttons above.

Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above map displays the number of CER conditions associated with projects approved by the Commission. The map is split into two tabs which show in-progress and closed conditions separately, mapped to an economic region. If a company has no in-progress conditions specific to an economic region, the dashboard will default to show the closed conditions by region. An additional view is available which contains the number of in-progress and closed conditions that don't have a corresponding economic region in the dataset. The map regions are shaded based on the number of conditions, with lighter coloured regions containing fewer conditions compared to darker colors. Conditions that apply to more than one region are double counted in the map, and these conditions will appear in the map region total and map region breakdown for each applicable region. The condition counts contained in the map navigation buttons represent total conditions without region double counting.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available [CSV].

Have you checked out the CER's interactive conditions data visualization? This tool offers a deep dive into the CER's conditions compliance data and process, exploring conditions across all CER regulated companies by keyword, project, and location.

Reported Incidents

Section updated January 2023

The information presented here is based on CER data (2008 to current) for incidents reported under the Onshore Pipeline Regulations and the Processing Plant Regulations. New data is added quarterly. Learn more on how incident data collection has evolved since the NEB (now the CER) was established in 1959.

Companies must report events, such as incidents, to the CER in accordance with the CER Event Reporting Guidelines. Knowing what happened, and why, helps us find ways to prevent them from happening again.

What is an incident? (Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR))

As defined in the OPR, “incident” means an occurrence that results in:

  1. the death or serious injury to a person;
  2. a significant adverse effect on the environment;
  3. an unintended fire or explosion;
  4. an unintended or uncontained release of low vapour pressure (LVP) hydrocarbons in excess of 1.5 m³
  5. an unintended or uncontrolled release of gas or high vapour pressure (HVP) hydrocarbons;
  6. the operation of a pipeline beyond its design limits as determined under CSA Z662 or CSA Z276 or any operating limits imposed by the CER.
What is an incident? (Processing Plant Regulations (PPR))

As defined in the PPR, “incident” is defined as an occurrence that results or could result in a significant adverse effect on property, the environment, or the safety of persons. For the purposes of incident reporting in the PPR, events that fall under this definition include, but are not limited to:

  1. the death or serious injury to a person;
  2. a significant adverse effect on the environment;
  3. an unintended fire or explosion that results in or has the potential to result in damage to company, public/crown or personal property;
  4. an unintended or uncontained release of low vapour pressure (LVP) hydrocarbons in excess of 1.5 m³
  5. an unintended or uncontrolled release of gas, HVP hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide or other poisonous gas; or
  6. the operation of a plant beyond its design limits or any limits imposed by the CER.
Incidents and the CER

Companies self-report incidents and are expected to take a precautionary approach in doing so. This means that even when there is doubt as to whether an incident should be reported, the company must report it. The approach is, “When in doubt, report.” This is consistent with CER-regulated companies’ responsibility for anticipating, preventing, mitigating and managing incidents of any size or duration.

The CER reviews all reported incidents to assess whether companies have taken the appropriate corrective actions and to identify potential trends in incidents. Each incident is given a status indicating the current stage of the CER's incident review.

CER Status
  • Initially Submitted: The company has notified the CER that an incident has occurred and provided preliminary information. A review has been initiated.
  • Submitted: The company has submitted all of the required information and the CER is reviewing the incident.
  • Closed: The CER’s incident review has been completed and the file is closed.
Incident type definitions: one incident can have multiple types
  • Release of Substance (featured in the dashboard) - Any time a product is unintentionally released. (Releases of non-gas low pressure products in volumes of less than 1.5 m³ are exempt from reporting.)
  • Adverse Environmental Effects - When any chemical substance is released at a concentration or volume that has the potential to change the ambient environment in a manner that would cause harm to human life, wildlife or vegetation (e.g., glycol, potassium carbonate, methanol, methanol mix from hydrostatic testing, etc.).
  • Explosion - An unintended explosion
  • Fatality - Any death involving employees, contractors or members of the public related to the construction, operation, maintenance or abandonment of pipelines
  • Fire - An unintended fire
  • Operation Beyond Design Limits Includes situations, such as:

    • over-pressures - i.e., pressures that are higher than the maximum the equipment was designed to safely handle;
    • vibration beyond design limits;
    • slope movements causing movement in the pipeline beyond design limits;
    • pipe exposures in rivers or streams; and
    • introduction of an inappropriate product (e.g., sour gas in excess of CSA limits)

    Operation beyond design limit is typically linked to an over-pressure of the product in the pipe; however, if a pipe was exposed to excessive vibration and was not designed for this, this could be considered operation beyond design limits. Operation beyond design limits does not include equipment contacting the pipe, or corrosion pits, etc.

  • Serious Injury (CER or Transportation Safety Board) - Any serious injury involving employees, contractors or members of the public related to the construction, operation or maintenance of pipelines.

Are there any incidents near me?
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Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above map displays the location of product release incidents that have occurred on the pipeline system since 2008. The map defaults to show incidents as bubbles which are coloured based on the substance released. Incidents on the map can be re-categorized based on the most recently available status of the CER's incident review, the year in which the incident was reported, and the province/territory where the incident occurred. The incident map bubble can be switched to show the estimated volume of product released, with larger map bubbles showing larger release volumes relative to other product releases on the system. The incident data can also be toggled to display a stacked bar chart of incidents over time by clicking on the incident trends button above the map. The stacked bars display the number of product release incidents by year, with bar colour segments corresponding to the various products released. Similar to the map, incidents can be re-categorized by clicking on the side buttons to view a breakdown of incidents by status, what happened, why it happened, and province/territory.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available [CSV].

Have you checked out the CER's interactive incident data visualization? This tool offers a deep dive into the CER's incident data trends, exploring incidents across all CER regulated companies.

Operations and Maintenance Activities

Section updated January 2023

Oil and gas pipeline companies regularly conduct routine operations and maintenance (O&M) activities on CER regulated pipelines. These activities include things such as pipeline repairs, investigative and integrity digs, and many other activities while promoting safety, security, environmental protection, economic efficiency, and respect for the rights of those that may be affected.

Companies are required to adhere to Canadian Energy Regulator Act’s Onshore Pipeline Regulations and operate their facilities in a manner that is safe and protects the environment. Authorizations for pipelines typically allow companies to construct and operate a facility, and companies are not required to apply for additional approval to undertake most O&M activities. In certain circumstances, companies are required to notify the CER in advance with sufficient information to make a determination as to whether to inspect O&M activities that could result in safety consequences to landowners or the public, environmental consequences, or a negative impact on normal third-party use of the right-of-way (ROW) or adjacent property.

What activities are O&M activities (eligible activities)?

Operations and maintenance activities include:

  1. All activities necessary to safely operate an existing pipeline;
  2. Maintenance activities, upgrades or repairs to an existing pipeline or part of a pipeline that do not increase the approved maximum operating pressure (MOP), the stress level or diameter of the pipeline; or
  3. Physically removing an existing section of pipe up to 5 km in length, and putting a new section of pipe in its place, as long as this replacement does not increase the approved MOP, stress level or diameter of the pipeline.
What O&M Activities require CER approval (restrictions on eligible activities)?

Where any of the following restrictions exist, the company must apply to the Commission in accordance with the CER Act and the related regulations and may not carry out the proposed activity until approval from the Commission has been obtained. The restrictions apply where:

  1. The work includes welding on an in-service pipeline by a pipeline company that has not previously performed in-service welding in accordance with the requirements of CSA Z662-15, Clause 7.17, ‘Welding on In-Service Piping’, or the equivalent clause in the most recent edition of CSA Z662; or
  2. The work involves the construction of an aerial crossing, excluding work on company owned or leased land relating to facilities (e.g., terminal stations, processing plants, compressor/pump stations).
What kinds of activities are not O&M activities (ineligible activities)?

O&M activities do not include:

  1. Upgrades that result in increases above previously approved and specified levels to:
    • the MOP,
    • stress levels,
    • the diameter of the pipeline, and/or
    • airborne emissions or noise levels.
  2. "Looping" (i.e., adding pipe parallel or adjacent to, and interconnected with, an existing pipeline for the general purpose of increasing capacity);
  3. Construction of a new pipeline; or
  4. Deactivation (for longer than 12 months), reactivation (where a pipeline has been deactivated for more than 12 months), decommissioning, or abandonment.
The dashboard and figures presented below only include O&M activities from 2015 onwards that require notification to the CER. Consult the O&M Requirements and Guidance Notes for a list of O&M event activities that call for notification to be filed with the CER.

Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above bar chart displays the number of O&M activities from 2015 to current, arranged based on the starting year of the activity. Each bar is stacked based on several parameters, with the default view showing the province/territory where the O&M activity occurred. Navigation buttons to the right of the bar chart provide the option to view the number of O&M activities by province/territory, if the activity includes an integrity dig, if in-stream work is required, if there are fish present, and if there are species at risk present.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available [CSV].

View the requirements and guidance notes (O&M Guidelines) for more information on how these events are regulated while promoting safety, security, environmental protection, economic efficiency, and respect for the rights of those that may be affected.

Contaminated Sites and Remediation

Section updated January 2023

As part of the CER’s environmental protection activities, we require companies to manage and remediate contamination throughout the lifecycle of the facilities. As a first step, regulated companies are required to report contamination to the CER through the online submission of the Notification of Contamination (NOC).

After the NOC is submitted, companies must demonstrate they are actively managing the contamination according to the Remediation Process Guide. The progress and current status of remediation at the contaminated site are captured in the annual update submitted by a company each year for a contaminated site.

Third party contamination is on-site contamination that is shown to not be emanating or migrating from the company’s facilities or company-owned or leased lands or Right-of-Way. While third-party contamination is not the result of company activities, the CER still requires that this contamination is reported to the CER through the submission of the NOC.

The dashboard below contains information that is contained in the NOC's and annual updates found in REGDOCS. The CER publishes NOCs that have been submitted to the CER since August 2018, when the CER started collecting this information electronically and annual updates that have been submitted since 2021. For information on contaminated sites for which NOCs were submitted prior to August 2018, email remediation@cer-rec.gc.ca.

There are many different methods and approaches to remediate contamination. Thus, when a company submits a plan for remediation (i.e., remedial action plan) for CER review, they are required to include an options analysis to support the remedial method chosen, select appropriate remediation criteria and demonstrate engagement with potentially affected persons, among other requirements. CER analysts also review closure reports submitted by the company once the remediation is completed to ensure remediation has been completed appropriately.

Are there any contaminated sites near me?
Select range (100km):
Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above map displays the approximate location of contaminated sites that have been reported since August 2018. The map defaults to show contaminated sites as bubbles which are coloured based on the year the Notice of Contamination was submitted. Contaminated sites on the map can be re-categorized based on the province/territory, if the site is within 30 metres of a water body, and the applicable land use at the site. The contaminated sites can also be toggled to display a stacked bar chart of events over time by clicking on the contaminated sites trends button above the map. The stacked bars display the number of contaminated sites reported by year. Like the map, contaminated sites can be re-categorized by clicking on the side buttons to view a breakdown of contaminated sites by site status, activity at time of discovery, pipeline or facility, and contaminant type.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available [CSV].

Damage Prevention Regulations Contravention Reports

Section updated January 2023

Damage prevention is where people and pipelines meet; it is the proactive process that keeps people, the environment, and pipelines safe.

The CER takes action to protect Canadians and the environment. Some of these actions include having safety requirements for activities near the pipelines that we regulate. Unauthorized activities on or around pipelines are unsafe and illegal. If pipelines are contacted or damaged, the result could be very serious.

The CER Damage Prevention Regulations (DPRs) outline the obligations of the pipeline companies to have robust damage prevention and public awareness programs that provide people living and working near pipelines the information to ensure those activities near their pipelines are done safely with respect to the pipeline. The DPRs also outline the requirements for people living and working near pipelines to communicate with pipeline companies when they are planning any construction activity (digging, building, driving on the right-of-way) and to follow the instructions that the pipeline company gives them.

Damage prevention is a shared responsibility, and we all play a part in making sure that everyone stays safe when working near a pipeline.

Pipeline companies must immediately report to the CER any activity near their pipelines that does not follow the rules and specifications set out in the DPRs. These violations are called contravention reports. The CER provides an Open Government dataset containing information on each reported contravention. Some summary statistics and a dashboard displaying this data is available below.

Are there any DPR contraventions near me?
Select range (100km):
Source and description

Data Source: Open Government

Description: The above map displays the location of DPR contravention reports that have been reported for the pipeline system over the past five plus years. The map defaults to show DPR contravention reports as bubbles which are coloured based on whether the pipe was damaged. DPR contravention reports on the map can be re-categorized based on whether there was a ground disturbance, the year, and who discovered the event. The DPR contravention reports data can also be toggled to display a stacked bar chart of events over time by clicking on the DPR Contravention Reports Trends button above the map. The stacked bars display the number of DPR contravention reports by year, with bar colour segments corresponding to the event type. Similar to the map, DPR contravention reports can be re-categorized by clicking on the side buttons to view a breakdown of events by whether pipe was damaged, who discovered the event, and method of discovery.

Open data can be freely used and shared by anyone for any purpose. The data for these graphs are available [CSV].

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Emergency management

Section updated June 2020

The CER checks to make sure companies are keeping pipelines safe by doing inspections, in-depth safety audits, and other activities. Yet, even with these precautions, an emergency could still happen. Sound emergency management practices improve public safety and environmental protection outcomes, and provide for more effective emergency response.

The CER holds its regulated companies responsible for anticipating, preventing, mitigating, and managing incidents of any size or duration. Each company must have an emergency management program that includes detailed emergency procedures manuals to guide its response in an emergency situation. We oversee the emergency management program of a regulated company’s projects as long as they operate.

The CER requires companies to publish information on their emergency management program and their emergency procedures manuals on their websites so Canadians can access emergency management information. To view Enbridge Mainline’s regional Integrated Contingency Plan, go to Enbridge’s Field Emergency Response Plans website, where the company’s plans are organized by area of operation.

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