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TSB releases report into gas pipeline rupture near McAuley, MB in 2021

By: Q Country/Star FM News
Posted: March 16, 2023 09:34

Pipeline had been struck by a farm tractor blade in a field

Image - Transportation Safety Board

A media release says "On 05 October 2021, the Minell Pipeline, a 6-inch natural gas pipeline operated by Manitoba Hydro, was struck by the blade of a farm tractor as it was scraping the ground in an agricultural field near McAuley, Manitoba. The pipeline ruptured and released approximately 84 000 m3 of natural gas. The released gas did not ignite and no evacuation was required. No one was injured.

The investigation found that the depth of ground cover over the pipeline at the occurrence location was insufficient to prevent the ground-scraping blade from contacting the pipeline. Over time, the removal of weeds and silt from the drainage ditch gradually reduced the depth of cover over the pipeline. This was not identified by

Manitoba Hydro's damage prevention program, and, as a result, the pipeline kept operating with reduced ground cover.

The investigation analyzed the response time from when the rupture took place until the ruptured section of the pipeline was isolated. The rupture occurred near TC Energy's Moosomin compressor station, which supplies the Minell pipeline. However, Manitoba Hydro's procedures at the time of the occurrence did not identify TC Energy as a possible resource in the response to an occurrence, and the flow of gas continued into the ruptured section of pipeline until Manitoba Hydro was able to isolate it, 106 minutes after the rupture was suspected.

Following the occurrence, the TSB issued Pipeline Safety Advisory Letter 01/22 to Manitoba Hydro and indicated that pipeline operators need to be aware of the depth of cover over their pipelines to ensure they are adequately protected against normal agricultural activities that do not require explicit authorization.

Manitoba Hydro completed a depth of cover survey for its entire Minell Pipeline, in response to an order issued by the Canada Energy Regulator with respect to the occurrence. Ten locations were found to have cover less than 0.65m, and these were staked and/or barricaded. The company also met with the affected landowners and provided written notifications in November 2021 prohibiting agricultural work, vehicle crossings and other ground disturbance activities in these locations."

There are more details at the link below.

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