MYTH: The risk of an explosion that will devastate our communities is too great to warrant construction.
FACT: Pipelines are the safest method of transporting natural gas. TransCanada has been in the pipeline business for more than 60 years and has one of the best pipeline safety and operating records in the industry.
We invest hundreds of millions of dollars each year to maintain the integrity of our system. We monitor our pipeline system through a centralized high-tech control centre, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We use satellite technology that sends data every five seconds to our monitoring centre. If a drop in pressure is detected, we can isolate any section of our pipeline by remotely closing valves on the system within minutes.
We use high-quality steel and the best construction practices when building pipelines. All pipe is tested well above normal operating pressure before it is put into operation. Our pipelines are cathodically protected, which means a low-voltage electric current is induced in the vicinity of the pipeline to inhibit external corrosion.
Cleaning and inspection tools, called “smart pigs”, are used to gather data for the assessment of pipeline integrity. The information gathered helps shape our pipeline maintenance programs. If anomalies are detected, the pipeline segment in question is excavated and visually inspected. It is either repaired on the spot or replaced.
The pipeline right-of-way is patrolled on the ground or from the air. The frequency of surveillance is based on pipeline age, condition, product, and other factors. Ground patrols with hand-held leak detectors are also employed in some instances.