Pre-existing Defect a Central Factor in 2012 Pipeline Explosion in British Columbia

Pre-existing Defect a Central Factor in 2012 Pipeline Explosion in British 
GATINEAU, QC, June 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Transportation Safety Board of Canada 
(TSB) has concluded in its investigation report (P12H0105) that a pre-existing 
flaw in the pipe was the primary cause of a Westcoast Energy Inc. pipeline 
explosion that occurred on 28 June 2012, approximately 40 km northwest of 
Buick, British Columbia. 
On 28 June 2012, the 16-inch Nig Creek pipeline ruptured; gas escaping from 
the ruptured pipeline ignited, and the resulting fire spread to the 
surrounding forested area. Approximately 25 minutes later, the 6.625-inch 
Bonavista Energy Corporation pipeline, located 3 meters away in the same 
right-of-way, ruptured due to its exposure to the fire, and the escaping gas 
also ignited. 
The TSB investigation found that certain types of pipe welded using a 
low-frequency electric resistance welding technique have an increased 
likelihood for the presence of defects such as cracks, and that this increases 
the risk that the pipe might fail. Following the accident, the National Energy 
Board directed Westcoast to conduct necessary integrity assessments and 
repairs prior to seeking approval to return the pipeline into service. 
Since the accident, Westcoast Energy Inc. has taken a number of actions aimed 
at ensuring the integrity of its pipeline. It has conducted a successful 
pressure test on the entire Nig Creek pipeline, and filed a monitoring and 
verification plan for the pipeline's fitness for service with the National 
Energy Board. It has also commissioned additional metallurgical analysis of 
other segments of the pipeline and scheduled an extensive inspection of the 
pipeline from the inside. Further, the company has begun a pipeline control 
room management review. It is anticipated that the resulting changes will 
improve response times during an emergency. 
The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway 
and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of 
transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or 
determine civil or criminal liability. 
Transportation Safety Board of Canada Media Relations 819-994-8053 
The TSB is online Keep up to date throughRSS,Twitter 
@TSBCanada,YouTube,Flickr and ourblog. 
SOURCE: Transportation Safety Board of Canada 
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CO: Government of Canada
ST: Quebec
-0- Jun/04/2013 17:00 GMT
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