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Notice:

Following the passage of Bill 37, exciting changes are coming, including a new name and expanded mandate! In addition to our current responsibilities with respect to oil, gas and geothermal development, we will soon become the single-window regulator for the production of hydrogen, ammonia and methanol; have an expanded role in carbon capture and storage, and we will be known as the BC Energy Regulator. For more info: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022EMLI0055-001598

In B.C., pipelines transport the oil and natural gas we rely on for our daily activities like heating our homes, cooking our food and fueling our vehicles. We play a critical role in ensuring these pipelines are built, operated and maintained to protect you and the environment.

Pipelines bring you essential energy

We regulate oil and gas pipelines within B.C.’s borders, except those considered utility pipelines, which serve residences and businesses and are regulated by the BC Utilities Commission. Oil and natural gas pipelines that cross provincial or international borders are regulated by the Canada Energy Regulator, however, pipeline companies still apply to us for pipeline rights-of-way, roads and other works in and around a pipeline. More information about interprovincial pipelines and how they are regulated can be found here.

Approximately 75 per cent of the pipelines we regulate transport natural gas, 10 per cent transport oil, and the remaining transport other gases and liquids associated with oil and gas production.

Drag the slider to see the route gas takes from a well to your home and who has regulatory authority for each step of the way.

Regulator Responsible
Example of Pipeline Route

We regulate over 50,000 kms of oil and gas pipelines in B.C.

The province's oil and gas pipeline network is made up of both gathering and transmission pipelines. Gathering pipelines take petroleum and natural gas products from wells to processing facilities. The majority of B.C.'s pipeline network is gathering pipelines, which moves product from Northeastern B.C. to refining, processing and storage facilities. Transmission pipelines take products from processing facilities to distribution systems and consumers.

How can you tell where a pipeline is buried?

Click the link above to learn how to identify a pipeline.

Dig Safely

Whether you're a land owner installing a fence post or a contractor performing a larger excavation project, do you know the three steps you should perform before you dig? Refer to these Pipeline Damage Prevention flyers to stay safe and prevent unwanted contact with pipelines.

Know the signs of a natural gas pipeline leak

If you suspect a pipeline leak, walk a safe distance away and call 911. Do not create any ignition sources; starting vehicles, motors or using lighters or matches could cause the leak to ignite.

Nose

What you may smell

  • Rotten eggs
  • Sulphur

*Natural gas is naturally odourless, but trace amounts of mercaptan is added for home and commercial use to create a distinctive smell.

Eye

What you may see

  • Vapour and/or ground frosting
  • Bubbles in wet or flooded areas
  • Distinct patches of dead vegetation
  • Dust blowing from a hole in the ground
  • Flames if the leak has ignited
Ear

What you may hear

  • Hissing
  • "Roaring" sound

It’s our job to ensure both the environment and public safety are protected.

Keeping you safe

We play an integral role in protecting public safety through all stages of pipeline activities. Companies must report to us before, during and after completing a pipeline activity and perform regular safety tests on equipment. Every pipeline permit holder must also develop and implement an Integrity Management Program (IMP) prior to operating a pipeline. IMPs specify the practices that should be used to ensure public safety, environmental protection, and the integrity of a pipeline throughout its full life cycle. To learn more, check out our Integrity Management Program page.

For more information on how we maintain pipeline safety, see the links below.

Compliance

Compliance & Enforcement

This page publishes inspection reports, tickets, warnings, orders and decisions.

Landmanagement

Incident Map

Our Incident Map provides information on pipeline incidents. By clicking on identified incident points on the map, specific details are displayed, such as incident type, company name and the status of the incident.

Checklist

Pipelines Fact Sheet

Our fact sheet helps you understand why we need pipelines, what they carry, and the programs we have in place to keep you safe.

Online

Data Centre

We offer access to a variety of online pipeline reports, such as proposed and permitted projects. If you need help with our online systems, reach out to us here.

Document

Pipeline Performance Summary Report

We publish an annual Pipeline Performance Report that highlights the pipeline inventory in B.C., pipeline lifecycle, integrity management program, incidents and emergency response.

Documentation

Reservoir Management

This section contains regularly posted approvals and notices as well as annual reserves estimates data.

Pipelines Frequently Asked Questions

What factors does the Commission consider when reviewing pipeline permit applications?

Factors we consider when assessing permit applications for pipelines include:

  • Protection of public safety.
  • Protection of the environment.
  • Indigenous rights and title interests, concerns and impacts.
  • Details, concerns and/or conditions identified during environmental assessments.

Is rights holder* engagement part of the pipeline application process?

Yes, rights holder engagement is required as part of the application process and is intended to encourage communication and participation between proponents, land owners and rights holders prior to application submission. Any deliverables discussed with each rights holder regarding the planned pipeline and its proposed location must be included in the pipeline application.

*A rights holder is a permit holder of an authorization listed under the Oil and Gas Activities Act. They types of authorizations a rights holder may possess are defined in the Requirements for Consultation and Notification Regulation.

More information on engagement, outreach services, and how industry is regulated can be found on our Consult with Land Owners & Rights Holders page.


Are environmental impacts considered when permitting projects?

Yes, the Commission works to ensure projects are developed by considering the impacts to air quality, wildlife, water and land during the application review process. It’s our job to ensure both the environment and public safety are protected, and those with concerns have the opportunity to have their voice heard.

To learn more about the permitting process, please visit https://www.bcogc.ca/how-we-regulate/

Are environmental impacts considered when reviewing pipeline applications?

Yes, we consider the potential impacts to air quality, wildlife, water, and land during the application review process. It's our job to protect the environment and public safety by ensuring pipeline operators plan their activities to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the land, and restore the area to its pre-development conditions at the end of a project. Read more about our enhanced approach to managing resource stewardship, called Area-based Analysis (ABA), on our Cumulative Effects page.


What policies are in place to ensure the safety of the environment?

We carefully manage all stages of oil, gas and geothermal development. This starts at the exploration and application stages, and continues through each activity until the end of a project's lifecycle, including full restoration of the land it took place on. The steps we take to protect the environment can be found on our Safeguard the Environment page.


How does the Commission make sure oil and gas companies follow the rules during day-to-day operations?

We make sure companies comply with all relevant laws even before an application is submitted to us, such as during the consultation process. If an activity is approved, we audit and inspect operations with an eye for environmental and public safety, and we work to make sure companies understand the standards expected of them. More about how our Compliance and Enforcement Officers inspect sites, have the authority to order corrective work, and can even shut down operations can be found here.

Does the Commission regulate all pipelines in B.C., including those that originate outside of the province?

We are the primary regulator for the majority of pipelines within B.C., however, pipelines that originate in other provinces and extend into B.C. are under the federal jurisdiction of the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). We maintain a regulatory role for these interprovincial pipelines related to application reviews, and we issue authorizations at a provincial level that are needed for construction, operation and maintenance activities.


Which parts of interprovincial pipeline projects are under the Commission's jurisdiction?

For interprovincial pipelines, we review applications and, if approved, issue authorizations under the provincial Land Act, Water Sustainability Act, and the Forest Act. These authorizations are related to the use of Crown land and water resources, as well as tree cutting permits.

We maintain full oversight for the full lifecycle of any authorizations we issue at a provincial level. This includes compliance and enforcement and any future site remediation once operations have ceased.


Which parts of interprovincial pipeline projects are under the CER's jurisdiction?

While we conduct application reviews and may issue provincial authorizations for these interprovincial projects, the CER is the primary regulator (overseeing construction, operations, and maintenance). We liaise with the CER as necessary and maintain an Memorandum of Understanding with them to clarify the scope of our respective roles.


What is the process for reviewing applications for interprovincial pipelines?

The process for reviewing applications for CER regulated pipelines is the same as for projects located entirely within B.C. When an application is submitted, we conduct a comprehensive review that considers land use, environmental factors, hydrology, and consultation with First Nations and land owners. To learn more about this process, check out our Review Applications webpage.


Does the Commission regulate the Trans Mountain Expansion Project?

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project is an interprovincial pipeline and the CER is its primary regulator. We are responsible for reviewing applications and issuing authorizations under provincial acts including the Land Act, Water Sustainability Act, and Forest Act. More information on major projects can be found here.


Who authorizes work camps on interprovincial projects?

We may authorize oil and gas operators to use land for the purposes of a camp; however, additional authorizations and permits are required from other jurisdictions, such as regional health authorities, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Transportation, WorkSafeBC, etc., to construct and operate a campsite. To learn more about permitting work camps, click here.

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