Keystone XL will be one of the safest pipelines ever built
From the 59 special conditions we have voluntarily agreed to implement, to our industry-leading safety record – making the Keystone XL Pipeline one of the safest pipelines ever built in North America is something we take very seriously.
We’ve built and operated pipelines across North America for more than 60 years and we’ve earned a reputation of excellence in quality and safety.
Our people: safety is in our culture
The most important component of our safety and maintenance programs is our people. All of TransCanada’s oil control and field maintenance personnel receive intensive training for up to a year before they can be certified to work on pipeline operations and maintenance.
Oil control operators and pipeline safety maintenance personnel are regularly re-certified to ensure they remain on the leading edge of pipeline operations, maintenance and leak detection.
Investing in safe operations
We’re investing more than $1 billion a year in pipeline integrity and proactive inspection and maintenance programs to protect our pipelines and energy facilities.
Only the best materials and safety practices
We only use high-quality materials and best practice techniques to ensure the integrity of our pipelines. Qualified independent inspectors examine every weld made, and we’re the only company in North America that regularly uses automated ultrasonic testing to check for irregularities before our pipelines go into service.
State-of-the-art safety and leak detection
During the planning and U.S. regulatory review process for Keystone XL, we voluntarily agreed to implement 59 special conditions developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
These special safety conditions include:
Puncture Resistance: Incredibly high standards for steel
The Keystone XL Pipeline is high-quality carbon steel with special features that reduce corrosion and enhance strength and pliability. In fact, the steel used in the pipeline can withstand impact from a 65-ton excavator with 3.5-inch teeth. This puncture resistance will provide additional protection from third-party damage, which is one of the most common causes of pipeline failures.
Corrosion-Resistant Coating: An additional layer of pipeline protection
In addition to high-strength carbon steel, our pipelines are protected with the most advanced, corrosion-resistant fusion-bonded epoxy (FBE) coatings.
Horizontal Directional Drilling: Building safely around water, roads and structures
This technique allows pipeline construction to take place under (approximately 25 feet below) areas such as rivers, steep slopes, structures, roads or railway crossings – reducing the overall impact of the development and preventing damage from spring run-off or flooding.
Automatic Shut-off Valves: Enhanced pipeline control from end to end
Automated shut-off valves can be closed remotely on either side of a pipeline, isolating a damaged area within minutes. Keystone XL will be equipped with more automated shut-off valves placed at shorter intervals than any other oil pipeline in the U.S. They will be placed every 20 miles with extra valves where required, to protect water crossings and other areas of higher consequence.
100% Weld Inspections: Inspecting every single weld along the pipeline
We inspect every weld with the latest ultrasonic inspection technology, in addition to using standard X-ray inspection tools. We also repair or replace imperfections that are invisible to the human eye – an industry-leading process that goes above and beyond federal and state regulations.
Maintenance: Accountable, transparent and committed to safety
Keystone XL Pipeline will operate under an unparalleled maintenance regime, employ state-of-the-art integrity management practices and provide regulatory bodies with detailed technical reports annually.
See all 59 additional safety features that TransCanada has voluntarily agreed to implement for Keystone XL
View full report PDF
Additional industry-leading safety measures:
- Subsoil is carefully screened to remove rocks or sharp objects that might scratch the epoxy coating on pipes
- Thicker-walled pipes are used when crossing roads or railways, and when the pipeline is near waterways and communities
- Completed sections of pipeline are pressure-tested to a level far greater than they will experience during normal operation
Keystone XL has been subject to the most rigorous regulatory review ever conducted for a crude oil pipeline proposal in the U.S.