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Message from the President & CEO and Board Chair.

Message from the President and CEO

Evolving to help shape a diverse energy future

The world’s energy needs are changing. The way we deliver energy to the world is shifting, and Canada’s transmission pipeline industry is evolving to help shape the diverse energy future of tomorrow.

In our seventh annual report, we highlight the industry’s leadership as the world looks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We deliver on our commitment to provide transparent reporting about the safety, environmental protection and socio-economic contributions of the transmission pipeline industry. And we dig into the ways CEPA members are evolving to deliver the reliable, resilient, sustainable and affordable energy Canada and the world rely on.

The global pandemic challenged everyone, including Canada’s pipeline operators. CEPA members overcame those challenges to safely deliver the energy needed to heat our homes and hospitals. They have consistently transported the materials needed to make critical products used in health care like plastics, pharmaceuticals and antiseptics. In a time of constant change and uncertainty, Canadians can always count on pipelines to deliver their energy.

Safety is always the industry’s number one priority, and the industry’s safety practices are also evolving and advancing. We remain committed to reaching our goal of zero incidents, and while we are getting closer, the work isn’t done. CEPA members will continue to work together, sharing information and developing new strategies to make their pipelines even safer while protecting the land, water and wildlife and reducing emissions.

As the energy mix changes, CEPA members are evolving to help ensure emerging, cleaner burning fuels can safely be delivered to market. Whether it’s natural gas and oil, or hydrogen and renewable natural gas – pipelines will continue to deliver most of the world’s energy. As carbon capture, utilization and storage builds momentum in Canada and around the world, the industry is building capacity to transport more carbon dioxide from facilities to be sequestered deep underground.

CEPA members are innovating and developing new technologies that will make the new energy future possible. We are leading the way, and we are excited for what is to come.

Thank you for your interest in this year’s report. We hope through these pages you’ll feel the momentum that is building for a diverse energy future – a future where pipelines will continue to deliver the energy you need in the safest, most responsible way.

Chris Bloomer
President & CEO, CEPA

Message from the Board Chair

Working and evolving together to reach a common goal

On behalf of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association’s (CEPA) Board of Directors, I am pleased to present the 2021 Transmission Pipeline Industry Performance Report. CEPA members have been working together for almost three decades to ensure Canadian natural gas and oil are delivered to markets across the country and around the world in a safe and responsible manner.

As the world’s energy mix evolves, our members continue to collaborate and adapt to meet the opportunities and challenges we face. Together, we are innovating and discovering new technologies that will help make a cleaner energy future possible. In addition, we are improving the industry’s performance with our collective goal of zero incidents.

In this report, you will see the significant investments CEPA members have made to advance our safety and environmental practices, which are ranked among the best in the world. You will gain insight into our commitment of keeping our pipelines safe through design, inspection and monitoring. You also will learn how we prepare to quickly and efficiently respond to emergencies, keep our control rooms on the cutting edge of technology, prevent damage by third parties, reduce emissions and protect Canada’s land, water and wildlife.

We are proud of these accomplishments but we recognize that the work must continue. Crucial conversations are happening around the table at CEPA – with hundreds of subject matter experts sharing their expertise, learnings and knowledge to help the entire industry continuously improve.

Canada’s pipeline industry is tackling several important and pressing issues. We are committed to building and maintaining long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous groups and believe the industry can play an active role in supporting Indigenous reconciliation in Canada. We are addressing the growing threat of debilitating cyber attacks on our infrastructure through strategic partnerships and knowledge sharing. We are reducing our carbon footprint and contributing to global climate change solutions. Finally, we will continue to have a critical role in delivering energy and contributing to our economy, as the world begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are doing the work. We are in it together. We are evolving as an industry to help secure a bright energy future for Canada and the world.

Dean Liollio
Board Chair, CEPA
President, Plains Midstream Canada

2020 pipeline

In the midst of a pandemic, CEPA members safely delivered Canada’s natural gas and oil across Canada and for export to nations throughout the world with one significant liquids incident and zero significant natural gas incidents.

More than 4.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas was safely delivered by CEPA members in 2020.


More than 1.3 billion barrels of crude oil were safely delivered by CEPA members in 2020.


Transmission pipelines deliver far more than responsible natural gas, oil and increasingly hydrogen for Canada and the world. They also provide jobs, funds for municipalities and revenue to other levels of government for important programs, including health care and education. The information below provides a report on the year’s ongoing socio-economic contributions across Canada.
Community initiatives

In 2020, CEPA members invested $36.6 million in community initiatives across Canada, such as safety, environment and educational programs, including $5.4 million in Indigenous communities.

Local spend

In 2020, CEPA members collectively spent almost $6.9 billion to obtain personnel, services, supplies and equipment from local sources, including $724 million from Indigenous companies.

Employee donations

Employees from CEPA member companies donated a total of $1.4 million to various charities in 2020.

Full-time equivalent jobs

In 2020, CEPA member activities resulted in 11,035 full-time equivalent jobs in Canada.

Capital expenditures

CEPA members continue to make significant investments in pipeline infrastructure – a total of $7.2 billion in 2020. Capital expenditures for the next 5 years are forecast to be $13.2 billion.

Volunteer hours

Employees from CEPA member companies volunteered a total of 15,091 hours to various charities and other initiatives in 2020. Of this total, 82 per cent was outside work hours.

Tax revenues

In 2020, CEPA members contributed $1.1 billion to government tax revenues, including income, property, motor fuel and carbon taxes.

Municipal property tax revenues

Of $1.1 billion in total tax payments in 2020, CEPA members paid more than $508 million in property taxes to municipalities across Canada where they operate pipelines. In many rural municipalities with transmission pipelines, our industry is the largest single contributor to municipal taxes.


Monitoring and

Hundreds of professionals — including engineers, scientists and environmental experts such as biologists, agrologists and hydrologists — monitor pipelines to protect the environment. From control rooms and satellites that can monitor every metre of the pipe to in-line inspection tools that examine the inside of the pipeline, experts are always watching. Below is a report on the year’s prevention performance and ongoing CEPA initiatives in the area of environmental protection.
Integrity digs

In 2020, CEPA member companies conducted 1,737 integrity digs to examine pipelines for defects and make repairs – that’s a total of 33,182 integrity digs since 2008. The number of integrity digs in any given year is not a set number. Each company decides when and where to perform an integrity dig, based on the results of in-line inspections and according to members’ operations and management programs.

Investments in innovative technology

In 2020, CEPA members invested $10.6 million in innovative technology focused on reducing pipeline corrosion and improving pipeline inspection, leak detection and damage prevention. From 2016 to 2020, CEPA members’ investment in these kinds of technologies totalled more than $88.9 million.

This number does not include indirect expenditures on innovative technologies through member company operational budgets.

In-line inspections

In 2020, CEPA members conducted in-line inspection runs on 35,556 kilometres of pipelines in Canada using highly sophisticated tools like smart pigs that examine pipelines from the inside to identify issues such as metal loss, dents and cracks that may require further investigation.

Investments in maintenance and monitoring

In 2020, CEPA members invested $1.2 billion in maintenance and monitoring of their Canadian pipeline systems.


Health and

CEPA members deliver the natural gas, oil and increasingly hydrogen Canada and the world needs in the safest, most responsible way. They do this by making safety the highest priority through an ingrained safety culture and exhaustive emergency planning. The information below provides a report on the year’s performance and ongoing CEPA initiatives in the area of emergency response planning, health and safety.
Emergency response exercises

In 2020, CEPA members held 341 emergency response exercises, ranging in complexity from emergency drills to full-scale exercises with participation from multiple agencies and jurisdictions, and mobilization of personnel and equipment as if a real emergency had occurred.

Facility contained incidents

In 2020, CEPA members reported 21 incidents within facilities. Incidents that occur within a pipeline facility pose less potential threat to the public or environment because of their size and the fact that facilities have both restricted public access and leak containment systems to keep the releases within the facility.

Fatalities over the past five years

CEPA members are focused on ensuring people return home safely at the end of each day. Just as CEPA members have committed to a goal of zero pipeline incidents, they also have a goal of zero incidents affecting the health and safety of their employees.

Injury and motor vehicle incidents

Rate of injury decreased from 0.72 per 100 full-time employees in 2019 to 0.3 in 2020. The rate of injuries among member company employees has decreased almost 35 per cent compared to the average over the past five years, from 0.46 per 100 full-time (in 2016-2020) to 0.3 in 2020. CEPA members are committed to zero incidents, and that includes injuries and other accidents. Every incident is thoroughly investigated and continuous improvements are made to prevent further incidents.

Incidents decreased from 0.7 incidents per million kilometres in 2019 to 0.37 in 2020, which represents a 47 per cent decrease from 2019. This is also 61 per cent lower than the five year average of 0.95. CEPA members continue to strengthen efforts in areas such as regular driver training and work planning that helps ensure workers are not fatigued and have sufficient time to travel the required distances.



CEPA members carefully monitor for incidents across the 95,592 kilometre network of transmission pipelines. In 2020, there was one significant incident (566 barrels of oil were released, and all 566 barrels were recovered). No incident is acceptable and CEPA members are committed to reaching their goal of zero incidents.
Total significant incidents
Total rights-of-way incidents

There was one significant liquids incident – a release of 566 barrels of oil – and zero significant natural gas incidents in 2020. While significant incidents did not increase from 2020, no incident is acceptable.

Natural gas incidents

In 2020, there were 15 unplanned natural gas releases, none of which were significant.

Liquids incidents

In 2020, there were four liquids incidents, one of which was significant. All 672 barrels released in the incidents were fully recovered.

Natural gas incidents – total product released

In 2020, approximately 52 million cubic feet of natural gas was released from CEPA members’ pipelines.

Liquids incidents – total product released vs. product recovered

In 2020, 672 barrels of oil were spilled in four incidents. All 672 barrels were fully recovered.

Causes of pipeline incidents (rights-of-way incidents 2016-2020)

Metal loss, cracking, and materials, manufacturing and construction defects remain the leading causes of pipeline incidents*. Collectively, these accounted for 82 per cent of the total incidents over the period from 2016 to 2020.

“Geotechnical” refers to damage by floods or landslides. “External interference” refers to damage by third parties. “Other” refers to control system malfunction, improper operation, lightning, fire and unknown. “Metal loss” is primarily caused by corrosion.

No amount spilled is acceptable, which is why CEPA members work to improve pipeline safety and performance, continuing to drive the decline in incidents.

*To differentiate higher-risk incidents, CEPA has adopted a set of criteria that defines “significant incident”. A significant incident includes one or more of the following: serious injury or fatality, liquid release of greater than eight cubic metres (50 barrels), unintentional ignition or fire, or rupture or break of a pipeline.


About this

Canadians want honest, transparent reporting about the safety, environmental protection and socio-economic contributions of the transmission pipeline industry, as well as our ongoing efforts to evolve for tomorrow.

The 2021 Transmission Pipeline Industry Performance Report captures CEPA member performance in 2020. This voluntary report produced by CEPA (our seventh annual) is part of our industry’s commitment to transparency and accountability as CEPA members work together to share best practices, learn from one another and collectively improve the entire industry to serve Canada and the world.

Learn more about CEPA

About CEPA

Find out more about the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA). CEPA represents the country’s transmission pipeline companies that are working together to safely and responsibly transport the natural gas and oil, and increasingly hydrogen, renewable natural gas and biofuels, that Canada and the world need.

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Benefits and Performance

Discover how CEPA members overcame the challenges of the pandemic in 2020 to safely deliver Canada’s natural gas and oil across Canada and for export to nations throughout the world.

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Evolving for Tomorrow

The energy mix the world relies on is evolving. Explore the many ways CEPA member pipelines are evolving as well to deliver the reliable, resilient, sustainable and affordable energy you need.

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Continuous Improvement

The strength of CEPA is through collaboration – members do not compete on safety. Discover how CEPA members work together to continuously improve the safe and reliable delivery of the energy you need.

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Message from the President & CEO and Board Chair

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