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AER expands pipeline incident reporting to drive improved performance

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Feb 21, 2017) - A new Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) report designed to improve industry performance provides detailed information on how pipeline operators are performing compared with their peers across Alberta.

The Pipeline Performance Report-focusing on 2015 and 2016 pipeline incidents-is the first in a series of reports the AER is releasing to increase transparency and enhance industry accountability for their performance.

"This new way of reporting on industry performance provides greater transparency and will drive increased industry accountability," said Jim Ellis, the AER's president and CEO. "As the province's regulator, it's important that we provide Albertans with a better understanding of how pipeline safety is being managed."

Over the past 10 years, pipeline incidents fell by 44 per cent as the length of pipelines grew by 11 per cent. This drop is a result of better industry education, improved inspection programs, and a greater focus on pipeline safety within the energy industry.

The Pipeline Performance Report reveals that pipeline incidents in Alberta declined by three per cent in 2016 to 460, compared with 473 in 2015. It also shows that 93 per cent of pipeline incidents in 2016 had low-to-medium consequences in terms of public, wildlife, and environmental impacts, while 61 per cent released less than one cubic metre of volume.

"Ultimately we believe every pipeline incident is preventable and operators must continue to focus on regulatory compliance, good pipeline management, and incident prevention," said Kirk Bailey, executive vice-president of Operations. "By sharing this information and putting increased focus on operators with poor performance, we are protecting what matters to Albertans-public safety and the environment.

This report is part of the AER's industry performance program, which launched last year to measure, evaluate, and report on energy development activities that the AER regulates, and to help improve operator performance. Additional performance reports will be released in the coming months.

The Alberta Energy Regulator ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.

Editor's note: Visit aer.ca to see a Pipeline Performance Report infographic. Stock photos are also available for use and can be found in the media centre section of the website.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Pipeline incidents continue to decline, showing a reduction of three per cent in 2016 compared with 2015, according to a new report on pipeline performance issued today by the AER. The report is the first of a series of industry performance reports the regulator is releasing to provide more transparency and to hold operators more accountable for their actions.