Suncor's Canadian Pipelines team manages and maintains about 1,110 kilometres of pipelines in Canada, including six smaller feeder pipelines out of our Firebag operations and a 400-kilometre line from Fort McMurray to Edmonton. We move a vast array of products including natural gas, crude oil, diluent, diluted bitumen, jet fuel, diesel fuel and even water.
And it's pretty tough to talk pipelines without also talking about safety – which suits Doug Kingdon, Director of Engineering and Support Pipelines, just fine.
"Like all Suncor operations, we go beyond compliance to ensure that our pipelines are operating safely,” explains Doug. “The safety of our employees, contractors, stakeholders, landowners and the communities in which we operate is paramount and is an integral part of our daily operating decisions."
Doug says that although we have heard a lot about pipeline leaks in the news, they are the exceptions. "Millions of barrels of oil and gas are safely shipped daily all over North America in pipelines that most of us aren’t even aware are beneath us," he says.
Doug reminds us that pipelines continue to be the safest way to transport oil and gas. Pipelines are:
- constructed with high-quality steel
- pressure-tested to well above normal operating pressure before being put into operation
- monitored 24 hours a day by trained operators who respond immediately to any indication of abnormal operation
- monitored with special internal tools to detect anomalies involving loss of wall thickness, including corrosion
"These are just some of the things we do to make sure our pipes run safe," says Doug.