Decades of safe cohabitation with gas lines 

There are currently close to 366,000 kilometres of natural gas lines in Canada. Gas transmission lines alone span nearly 100,000 kilometres, three times the length of the Canadian highway system. 

In fact, in many towns and cities across the country, natural gas transmission and distribution lines are located underground, unnoticed, and people have been living safely for decades alongside this infrastructure. 

Furthermore, in addition to the regulatory and industry standards in place, there is a close collaboration with first responders in communities crossed by the natural gas lines to ensure the efficiency of emergency services, if required. 

Safest means of energy transportation

Natural gas transmission lines are very safe. According to Transport Canada, they are the safest mode of energy transportation. The Canadian natural gas transmission system is subject to very strict regulatory and industry standards that every operator must comply with, especially in terms of safety. 

Safety measures namely include:
  • The natural gas transmission line will be protected against corrosion by a fusion-bond epoxy coating and a cathodic protection system. 
  • Inner wall inspections are regularly conducted to check for microfissures or traces of corrosion 
  • There is permanent 24/7 monitoring. 
  • Automated control units ensure uninterrupted monitoring of natural gas lines, on the lookout for the slightest abnormality or drop in pressure or flow. 
  • A control centre under 24/7 surveillance by specially trained technicians.
  • Redundant measuring instruments are installed to immediately detect any abnormality such as a drop in pressure. Constant monitoring allows for the quick and remote shut down of compressor stations and shutoff of valves whenever required. 
  • In the event of a problem, specialized teams are immediately dispatched to secure the site and, if necessary, carry out repairs. 
  • These safety measures are supplemented by regular aerial and foot inspections, along with regular drills. 

Did you know  ?

In the event of a leak :
  • Natural gas dissipates in the atmosphere
  • Risk of soil contamination is very low
  • Risk of watercourse contamination is very low 
  • Risk of groundwater contamination is very low
  • Risk of impact to plants and animals is very low 
  • Risk of a fire or an explosion is very low. 

For natural gas to ignite, it must be mixed with ambient air in a precise proportion of 5% to 15% and enter into contact with an ignition source.

If a leak occurs:

When an anomaly is detected:

  • Compressor stations automatically shut down 
  • Valves (approximately every 30 km) are remotely shut off
  • First responders are sent to secure the site and ensure public safety
  • Qualified teams are immediately sent to investigate and manage the situation