Alberta pipeline audit: system is efficient

Oversight of the pipeline network in the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta was found to be effective, though there's room for improvement, an audit found.

The Auditor General in Alberta reviewed pipeline safety for the province and found its energy regulator in general had performed well in terms of risk management and safety.

While the provincial Department of Environment was not meeting expectations, the Alberta Energy Regulator performed well "with a board and management that think as regulators," the audit found.

Alberta Energy Minister Frank Oberle said pipeline safety is important to a province at the heart of the nation's oil industry.

"Pipeline safety is important to Albertans and I am pleased that the Auditor General has found that we have a well-functioning system with effective oversight and enforcement," he said in a statement.

Auditor general Merwan Saher made six recommendations for improving pipeline safety in Alberta but said that overall the regulatory system is working well.

Auditors reviewed five critical incidents and found the emergency response process was “strong and well-documented.” Critical incidents are made public in a timely manner and investigators identify and focus on companies with a history of risky behaviour.

Recommendations include adopting a more formal training programme for pipeline staff, reviewing data collection practices and implementing a new process to evaluate pipeline operators’ integrity management programmes.

Energy Minister Frank Oberle said in a statement that “the Alberta Energy Regulator is taking action to implement the recommendations.”

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: UPIEdmonton Journal

Published on 13/03/2015

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