An audit conducted by Canada's chief energy regulator found pipeline operator TransCanada to be out of compliance on four of nine safety criteria, but said the company has made significant progress in addressing the issues.
The National Energy Board (NEB) probed TransCanada's "integrity management" practices after a former employee of the company informed the agency of concerns over the operator's compliance with certain regulations.
The NEB said it had originally planned to audit TransCanada starting in the second quarter of 2013 but advanced the timing of the audit after complaints from the whistleblower. The audit spanned a 10-month period between November 2012 and August 2013.
The board found TransCanada to be non-compliant in four areas:
Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control
Operational Control-Upset or Abnormal Operating Conditions
Inspection, Measurement and Monitoring
While failure in any one of the nine areas of compliance result in a company not passing an audit, the NEB said it "is of the view that the processes presently used by TransCanada have identified the majority, and most significant, of its hazards and risks".
"The board notes that a number of the allegations of regulatory non-compliance were identified and addressed by TransCanada only after the complainant’s allegations were made and were not proactively identified by the company’s management system," the report said.
NEB also pointed out that a finding of non-compliance does not necessarily suggest an immediate safety hazard.
The company has 30 days from Monday to submit a corrective action plan for NEB approval. Clickhere to read the NEB report.
TransCanada said it "accepts" the review and is working to fix the issues highlighted in the report.
"The findings from this
review will be included in a programme of improvements, many of which we have
already underway, that we are committed to as part of our ongoing efforts to
ensure our pipeline safety management system is as effective as it can be,"
a spokesman said.
The report comes as scrutiny on TransCanada is high as the company eagerly awaits a decision from the White House on whether it can proceed with the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude in Alberta to refineries across the US border.