On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the National Energy Board (NEB) became the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). For further information please visit our Implementing the Canadian Energy Regulator Act information page

Pipeline Profiles: Wascana

Pipeline system

Section updated June 2019

Plains Midstream Canada ULC (PMC) owns and operates the Wascana Pipeline. The pipeline transports light crude oil from the Canada/U.S. border to Regina, Saskatchewan.

The pipeline receives light crude oil produced in the Bakken region in North Dakota via a connection with the Bakken North Pipeline. The main receipt point is Raymond Station, located in Sheridan County, Montana. The main delivery point is the Plains Terminal in Regina, Saskatchewan. In Regina, the Wascana Pipeline delivers crude oil to the Enbridge Mainline.

The pipeline commenced operations in 1975. At the end of 2017, NEB-regulated assets included 173 km of pipeline and various auxiliary infrastructure. Capacity of the Wascana pipeline is 6 359 cubic metres per day (40 000 barrels per day).

In October 2012, PMC applied to the NEB to reverse the flow of Wascana, enabling it to transport light crude oil from the Bakken region across the U.S.-Canadian border to the Plains Terminal in Regina. The reversal was approved by the NEB in May 2013 and Wascana began transporting crude oil in June 2014.

Official NEB documents related to the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Wascana Pipeline are available: Plains Midstream Canada ULC regulatory documents (facilities) [Folder 534348].

You can see the Wascana Pipeline and all NEB-regulated pipelines on the Board’s Interactive Pipeline Map. The map shows more detailed location information, the products carried by each pipeline, the operating status and more. You can also view a map of Plains’ assets on its website.

Wascana pipeline system map

Source: NEB

Text version of this map

This map provides an overview of the Wascana Pipeline.

Tolls

Section updated June 2019

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.

Because there are no third party shippers on the Wascana Pipeline, in June 2016, the NEB approved PMC’s request [Folder 3004714] for exemption from filing audited financial statements and tariffs for the Wascana Pipeline.

PMC is subject to Group 2 financial regulation and tolls on the Wascana Pipeline are regulated by the NEB on a complaint basis.

Abandonment funding

Section updated June 2018

The NEB requires all pipelines to set aside funds to safely cease operation of a pipeline at the end of its useful life. In 2013, PMC estimated it would cost $12.5 million to do this for the Wascana Pipeline. These funds will be collected over 40 years and are being set aside in a trust.

Table 1: Wascana’s abandonment trust fund balance
  2015 2016 2017 2018
Trust fund balance ($) 2 063 813 2 111 542

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

Pipeline financial information

Section updated June 2019

Pipeline companies report important financial information to the NEB quarterly or annually. A solid financial position enables 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 PMC’s Audited Financial Statements [Folder 947464]. Because there are no third party shippers on the Wascana Pipeline, in June 2016, the NEB approved PMC’s request [Folder 3004714] for exemption from filing audited financial statements and tariffs for the Wascana Pipeline.

Table 2: Wascana Pipeline’s financial information
  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Revenues (million $) 0 0 0 3.0 3.5
Expenses (million $) 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.8 3.3
Assets (million $) 3.7 9.2 9.2 9.0 9.3

Corporate financial information

Section updated June 2019

PMC specializes in the transportation, storage, processing, and marketing of hydrocarbon commodities in western Canada and in Montana and North Dakota in the U.S. The company was founded in 2001 and is based in Calgary, Canada. PMC is a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline. Plains All American Pipeline is headquartered in Houston, Texas. It is engaged in the transportation and storage of hydrocarbon commodities throughout North America.

Credit ratings and financial ratios provide an assessment 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: Plains All American Pipeline's credit ratings
  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Moody's credit rating Baa3 Baa2 Baa2 Baa2 Baa2 Baa3 Ba1 Ba1 Ba1
S&P credit rating BBB- BBB- BBB- BBB-

Financial Regulatory Audits

Section updated June 2018

The NEB audits pipeline companies to confirm compliance with the National Energy Board Act, regulations, NEB orders, and NEB decisions. Financial regulatory audits focus on whether the company has complied with all Board regulations, toll orders and other accounting, reporting and toll and tariff matters. PMC’s last audit was completed on 28 January 2015.

Official NEB documents related to PMC’s financial regulatory audits are available : Plains Midstream Canada ULC regulatory documents (financial regulatory audits) [Folder 2452652].

Condition Compliance

Section updated September 2018

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 Board may add conditions to regulatory instruments that each company must meet. Condition compliance is monitored by the Board and enforcement action is taken when required. For a detailed list of conditions that TEML Westspur must meet, and their status, please see the condition compliance table and search for “Plains Midstream Canada ULC”.

Safety Performance

Section updated June 2019

The Board holds the companies it regulates accountable to protect the safety of Canadians and the environment. As part of this accountability, companies must report to the NEB events such as incidents and unauthorized third-party activities that happen without the pipeline company’s written consent. For a summary of pipeline incidents and unauthorized activities on the Westpur Pipeline since 2008, visit the Safety performance dashboard and select “Plains Midstream Canada ULC”.

Emergency Management

Section updated June 2019

The NEB 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 NEB 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 Board 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 emergency management information for Wascana, go to Plains Midstream Canada’s Emergency Response Plans website and select Prairie Pipelines ERP. Wascana is covered under the Prairie Pipelines Emergency Response Plan, starting on PDF page 462.

 

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