PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – The Canada Energy Regulator has issued a $40,000 penalty to Westcoast Energy Inc. for the pipeline rupture that occurred near Prince George in 2018.
Following the 30-day review period, Westcoast received the penalty for failing to conduct an in-line inspection of its 36-inch natural gas transmission line within the allowable interval specified by its integrity management program.
On October 9, 2018, a rupture and subsequent fire occurred on Westcoast’s 36-inch pipeline, 13 km northeast of Prince George. The CER sent staff to the incident site and participated in the emergency response. To ensure immediate safety, an Inspection Officer Order was issued to Westcoast to limit the operating pressure of segments of the 36-inch line and the company’s parallel 30-inch pipeline.
The CER then conducted regulatory oversight activities and an investigation to find out if additional enforcement measures were needed and found that Westcoast did not follow its integrity management program for stress corrosion cracking and inspection practices and that had Westcoast done so, the pipeline defect could have been detected to avoid the rupture.
The Transportation Safety Board conducted an incident investigation into the rupture and released its report on March 4, 2020. This report indicated the rupture originated at stress corrosion cracks on the outside surface of the pipeline.
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