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Types of pipelines

Pipeline performance Pipelines are a safe and environmentally responsible way to move oil and natural gas. 99.999 per cent of all oil and natural gas products transported through transmission pipelines reach their markets safely (source: CEPA 2017). In Alberta, where the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) manages provincial pipelines, performance is continuously improving. AER data indicates that over the last decade, the number of pipeline incidents declined 44 per cent while the length of pipelines grew 11 per cent. In addition to adhering to all regulations to ensure safe transport of energy, industry also follows best management practices to help manage pipeline corrosion and operating in high impact areas.

Canada’s pipeline system is made up four groups that deliver energy to Canadians and to export markets such as the United States.  

  1. Gathering Pipelines:  250,000 kms of pipeline move crude oil and natural gas in producing areas from the well to oil batteries or natural gas processing facilities. 
  2. Feeder Pipelines: 25,000 kms of pipeline, found primarily in producing areas in western Canada, transport crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) from collection points (batteries), processing facilities, and storage tanks to transmission pipelines. 
  3. Transmission Pipelines: 100,000 kms of pipeline move crude oil and natural gas within provinces and across provincial or international boundaries.
  4. Distribution Pipelines: 450,000 kms of pipeline are operated by local distribution companies, deliver natural gas to various industries, homes and businesses.





Burt Silver

I really like how you talk about the different types of pipelines and what they do exactly. This is something that I have been curious about lately because I didn't know much about it before. It would be great if I could find an expert and maybe they could teach me more about pipeline integrity.

Taylor Bishop

I wanted to thank you for helping me learn more about pipelines. It's good to know that feeder pipelines can transport natural gas liquids to transmission pipelines. I'm kind of interested to learn how these pipelines are built especially if their design would depend on exactly what they are transporting.

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