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What is Energy East?

Energy East is a proposed 4,500-kilometre pipeline that will transport approximately 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the refineries of Eastern Canada and a marine terminal in New Brunswick. The proposed Energy East Pipeline project will convert 3,000 km of existing natural gas pipeline to crude oil service, and will include the construction of 1,500 km of new pipeline.

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Why does Canada need the Energy East pipeline?

Canada needs a west-to-east pipeline, so our country can transport the vast supply of Western Canadian crude oil to refineries in the east.

Energy East will help decrease our dependence on foreign oil and add billions back into our own economy. In 2015, Canada’s oil imports surged 16 per cent to 736,000 barrels of oil a day, yet Canada holds the third largest oil reserves. At last year’s average oil price, that is $35 million leaving our economy every day. Our country is increasingly dependent on Middle Eastern and African countries that have no control on the environmental impact of their oil production instead of relying on our own reserves in Canada – home to some of the strictest environmental laws in the world.

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Is diluted bitumen different from conventional oil?

Several studies completed by independent third party agencies and university think tanks have concluded diluted bitumen is essentially the same as conventional oil. It is no more likely to sink, and no more corrosive to the pipeline than conventional crude oil.

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Are there design differences between gas and oil pipelines?

The design of gas pipelines and oil pipelines is essentially the same. The same construction processes, welding practices and materials are used for both types of pipelines. The main difference between gas and oil pipelines is the wall thickness and where the shut-off valves are placed. In a gas pipeline, heavier wall pipe is used in areas with higher population density. For oil pipelines, near water crossings, we would use thicker-walled pipe.

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Is pressure higher in an oil than a gas pipeline?

No. The pressure in a pipeline is a function of the properties of the pipe, not the liquid being transported. The maximum pressure that TransCanada will operate is the same for both oil and gas pipelines.

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How is a gas pipeline converted to oil transportation?

Steps to converting a gas pipeline to oil include ensuring the integrity of the pipeline before converting it, disconnecting the pipeline from the adjacent gas system, and installing new valves and pump stations.

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Can an older pipeline operate safely?

Yes. If a pipeline is maintained, it will operate indefinitely. TransCanada spends approximately US$1 billion per year on the integrity of our pipelines so that we can continue to operate them safely in communities like yours.

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How do we monitor pipelines?

TransCanada has a number of measures in place to monitor our pipelines. We have a high-tech control centre based in Calgary that is staffed 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

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How do we use a SMART pig?

The SMART pig is propelled by flowing oil or gas along the length of the pipe and helps us see the inside, middle and outside of the pipe while it’s operating. While travelling, sensors detect changes in the pipeline steel caused by dents, cracks or metal loss. The information is used to help us determine what features within the pipe we should investigate further.

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What is a SMART pig?

A SMART pig is an inline inspection tool that detects different threats such as metal loss or dents within the pipeline, and geotechnical events under the pipeline.

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Couldn’t find an answer to your question?

Contact the Energy East team at EnergyEast@transcanada.com