Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet 2017-08-02T06:40:59+00:00

Pipelines play a role in our everyday lives and are essential to our quality of life and economy. Pipelines move the products necessary for transportation, heating and cooling our homes, producing our food supply and manufacturing consumer products.

There are more than 840,000 kilometres (km) of transmission, gathering and distribution pipelines in Canada — including 117,000 km of large-diameter transmission lines — with most provinces having significant pipeline infrastructure. Of this amount, about 73,000 km are federally regulated pipelines, which are primarily transmission pipelines. Pipelines are generally buried underground and operate in both remote and populated areas, with major crude oil and natural gas pipelines servicing most major Canadian cities.

Pipelines are a safe, reliable and environmentally friendly way of transporting oil and gas. Spills, leaks and ruptures are rare, representing a tiny percentage of what is flowing through the pipelines. On average each year, 99.999 percent of the oil transported on federally regulated pipelines moves safely. Only very minor amounts of liquids are spilled and are typically confined to pipeline company property and recovered in cleanup operations.

Generally, pipelines that cross provincial borders are regulated by the federal government, and pipelines that are entirely within one province are regulated by the respective provincial authority where they are located. Provincially regulated lines include the smaller natural gas distribution pipelines that go to every house equipped with a natural gas furnace or water heater. For example, there are more than 450,000 km of these local distribution pipelines in Canada.

To learn more about pipelines in Canada visit the following websites:

The U.S. has the world’s largest network of pipelines in the world. America depends on a network of more than 207,800 miles of liquids pipelines, over 300,000 miles of gas transmission pipelines, and more than 2.1 million miles of gas distribution pipelines to safely and efficiently move energy and raw materials to fuel our nation’s economic engine. This system of pipelines serves as a national network to move the energy resources we need from production areas or ports of entry throughout North America to consumers, airports, military bases, population centers and industry every day. Pipelines are the safest, most efficient and most reliable way to transport energy resources.

To learn more about natural gas pipelines in the United States, visit the following websites: