Enbridge, TransCanada, Kinder Morgan working together to evaluate aerial-based pipeline safety technologies

Published Apr 29, 2015
Enbridge, TransCanada, Kinder Morgan working together
Enbridge, TransCanada, Kinder Morgan working together

Three North American pipeline companies - Enbridge Pipelines Inc., TransCanada Corporation, and Kinder Morgan Canada - have signed a Joint Industry Partnership (JIP) agreement to conduct research into aerial-based leak detection technologies, in the interest of enhancing across-the-board pipeline safety.

This partnership illustrates a spirit of collaboration among TransCanada, Kinder Morgan and Enbridge in the continued common pursuit of industry-wide safety and operational excellence. It also demonstrates the partners' commitment to investing in the leading-edge tools and technologies that can bolster safety and reliability, while at the same time addressing public demands for responsible pipeline development.

The goal of the project is to identify technologies capable of viably detecting small leaks from liquid petroleum pipeline systems to improve pipeline safety. The project is expected to involve laboratory research and field trials to evaluate the feasibility of commercially available aerial-based leak detection technologies, for use with crude oil and hydrocarbon liquids pipelines. The partnership includes a funding commitment from all three companies. Data analysis will be conducted by Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures, and testing will be carried out by project research partner C-FER Technologies (1999) Inc. of Edmonton.

A previous Joint Industry Partnership (JIP) - which was established by TransCanada and Enbridge, and now includes Kinder Morgan - has already yielded groundbreaking leak detection research using a state-of-the-art pipeline simulator known as the External Leak Detection Experimental Research (ELDER) test apparatus.

"We are committed to identify, develop and test new technologies to further progress key areas of pipeline safety, such as leak detection. Through collaboration with committed industry partners, we continue to make important advancements with leak detection technology," says Kirk Byrtus, Enbridge's Vice President of Pipeline Control. "This extension to the Joint Industry Partnership is another great example of the pipeline industry connecting to make important advancements with leak detection technology, and we look forward to closely working with our partners, TransCanada and Kinder Morgan."

"Pipelines are widely accepted as the safest and most efficient way to transport oil and gas, and TransCanada continues to strive for zero leaks or safety incidents on our pipelines," says Vern Meier, TransCanada's Vice President of Pipeline Safety and Compliance. "Joining forces with Kinder Morgan and Enbridge helps us maximize research potential and reach new levels of technological innovation to improve our industry as a whole."

"Kinder Morgan is pleased to be participating in this project as part of our systematic approach to leak detection, and our fundamental philosophy of continuous improvement and safe operations," says Dan Carter, Director of Central Region and Control Centre, Kinder Morgan Canada. "We look forward to working collaboratively with TransCanada, Enbridge, C-FER Technologies, and the participating vendors as part of this evaluation process."

Tags: Enbridge Pipelines Inc., Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, TransCanada Corporation


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