Four ways Energy Connections Canada is evolving Canada’s pipeline industry

Canadians want to know the energy they use is responsibly and safely produced. And Canada’s energy producers work hard to ensure that safety and environmental performance are part of their everyday operations.

At Energy Connections Canada we work with Canada’s pipeline operators and their suppliers to address the industry’s most important issues, facilitate research, develop innovations and best practices and improve overall industry performance.

In this blog post we’re taking a look at why Energy Connections Canada exists and the role it plays in building a sustainable future for the industry and for Canadian energy.

Connecting the pipeline industry

Energy Connections Canada was registered as a not-for-profit organization in 2013, in order to connect and represent the entire Canadian pipeline industry supply chain. This includes pipelines operators, engineering firms general contractors and those companies involved in , service and supply, inspection, transportation, technology developments and more. More recently the membership has expanded to include research organizations, such as the Pipeline Research Centre International, academic institutions; UBC’s Pipeline Integrity Institute and like-minded organizations such as the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC).

Why Foundation membership matters

There are more than 100 Canadian pipeline supply chain companies and owner operators who have joined Energy Connections Canada to help move the industry to a more sustainable future. Through membership they are able to stay on the leading edge of innovation, learn from others in the industry, share best practices and provide the best services possible. Together all these companies are working to address the major issues facing the energy and pipeline industries today and into the future, including the following:

1) Energy transition

Even as we transition toward a lower carbon future, the world still needs petroleum products for heat, electricity, plastics and chemicals. Pipelines remain the safest way to transport the critical energy and raw materials that we rely on every day. As an industry we are focused on providing that service safely and sustainably, and on continuing to reduce emissions through ongoing research, development and innovation.

2) Worker safety

Our goal as an industry is to make sure every worker goes home safely at the end of every shift. As technology changes and as we move to hydrogen energy and other forms of energy, the operating and construction environments are constantly changing and we must evolve and create new ways to protect and educate workers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a further set of challenges as our members adapt and introduce new measures to help keep their workers, and in turn their families and communities, healthy.

3) Pipeline safety

Keeping pipelines free from incidents is a 24/7 activity, and it’s crucial the highest levels of quality are maintained at every stage of construction and operation; both in terms of the materials used and operational best practices. Our industry never rests in its pursuit of new technologies and systems that will lead us to our goal of zero incidents.

4) Social responsibility

Within Environmental and Social Governance, social standards and practices are ever evolving and our industry recognizes the need to improve Indigenous relations, build equity, diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. Given the broad and diverse membership at Energy Connections Canada, some of our members have begun to clearly articulate their progress in these areas in their annual reports to shareholders and owners, while others are just beginning the journey.

What Energy Connections Canada does

The activities of the Foundation are focused on the following primary activities:

  • Connecting industry members in order to facilitate innovation and research projects
  • Development of best practices in the areas of safety, human resource management, pipeline asset management and pipeline integrity
  • Public outreach
  • Education – each year the Foundation puts on at least five major events, including Spring and Fall meetings, Safety Roundtable, Quality Summit and Technology Showcase as well as presentations and seminars on completed projects.

Moving the pipeline industry forward

The Foundation is involved with multiple projects covering all aspects of the Canadian pipeline industry. On the social responsibility side, recent initiatives include the following:

  1. A program to assist our members in tracking and measuring their diversity activities,
  2. Guiding principles for Indigenous engagement
  3. Founding sponsorship of Energy Ecosystem to provide unbiased information about our global energy history and the transition path going forward

In partnership with the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) Foundation we have produced Certificate Learning Programs for pipeline inspectors, with more than 10,850 inspectors now certified In the Fall of 2021, Facility Inspectors certification program will be launched. We are also pursuing ties with other international pipeline organizations to enable us to share knowledge, best practices and resources on a global scale.

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