We wish to respond to an article published in the Kenora Daily Miner and News on May 10, 2014, in which we found several incorrect statements.
“Council of Canadians speaker Mark Calzavara issued a scathing condemnation of TransCanada’s record on pipeline safety, citing eight major events in the past 20 years. He attributed the failures are often the result of stress corrosion cracking, the structural deterioration of the steel pipe after a period of years buried underground.”
No one has a stronger interest than TransCanada in making sure that our pipelines operate safely and reliably. We take extensive preventative measures to ensure that our pipelines are as safe as possible. This is why we spend an average of $900 million every year on pipeline integrity and proactive inspection and maintenance programs to ensure that our infrastructure systems work the way they should. Our goal is zero pipeline incidents that impact public safety or the environment.
“He (Calzavara) said the Energy East project and the proposed conversion of the pipeline designed for natural gas to transport diluted bitumen from the tar sands is a recipe for environmental disaster.”
Repurposing pipelines is something TransCanada has already done successfully throughout its 60-year history. The most recent example is the conversion of 860 km of the Mainline for the Keystone Pipeline System, which has safely delivered more than 600 million barrels of crude oil to the United States since it began operating in July 2010.
“This particular project is not safe, the pipeline is 40 years old and prone to stress corrosion cracking.”
As safety is an essential part of everything we do, we will subject the Mainline pipeline to a thorough cleaning and inspections with high-resolution tools to identify potential issues. Once its integrity has been re-assessed, we will install electronic leak-detection systems that allow TransCanada to monitor pipeline operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from its high-tech control centre in Calgary.
“Diluted bitumen is the worst thing to pump. There’s potential for a greater volume of oil spills that are much more difficult to clean up.”
Several studies conducted by respected scientific research organizations, including U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Battelle Memorial Institute, Penspen Institute and Natural Resources Canada, have shown that diluted bitumen (dilbit) behaves the same way as conventional crude oil and does not pose any additional risk when transported through pipelines.Cleaning up dilbit poses the same challenges as cleaning up conventional oil. TransCanada works hard to implement site-specific Emergency Response Plans in collaboration with local emergency responders to ensure quick response in the unlikely case of an incident.
“Why buy time and risk environmental and economic disaster for the sake of an ageing energy industry and outdated technology that likely won’t exist another 50 years from now?”
A recent International Energy Agency report found world energy demand will continue to grow for the next 20 years. We need to balance the world’s energy needs with stable and reasonable options for Canadians. While we are safely building pipelines to meet our shared need for oil and gas products today, companies like TransCanada are also part of the solution to the challenge of climate change.
Complete article: Kenora Daily Miner and News – Published May 10, 2014