CER Safety Advisories

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Safety Advisories (SA) are issued to inform the oil and gas industry of an identified safety or environmental concern with the goal of preventing the occurrence of related incidents. While SAs are not enforceable in the same way that an Order is, the CER expects that regulated companies will refer to the SA and take appropriate action based on it to manage any potential impacts to people or the environment. SAs are posted to our website so all interested parties can have access to the information that they need.

The CER often receives questions from industry about the SAs. We have therefore created a space to post the questions with our answers. All questions submitted will be anonymous and may be edited for clarity. Please submit or read questions by clicking the Q&A tab below.

Please hit the subscribe button on the right to receive updates on the latest questions posted to this page!

If you have more questions or concerns, please send an email SafetyandInformationAdvisories@cer-rec.gc.ca.

Safety Advisories (SA) are issued to inform the oil and gas industry of an identified safety or environmental concern with the goal of preventing the occurrence of related incidents. While SAs are not enforceable in the same way that an Order is, the CER expects that regulated companies will refer to the SA and take appropriate action based on it to manage any potential impacts to people or the environment. SAs are posted to our website so all interested parties can have access to the information that they need.

The CER often receives questions from industry about the SAs. We have therefore created a space to post the questions with our answers. All questions submitted will be anonymous and may be edited for clarity. Please submit or read questions by clicking the Q&A tab below.

Please hit the subscribe button on the right to receive updates on the latest questions posted to this page!

If you have more questions or concerns, please send an email SafetyandInformationAdvisories@cer-rec.gc.ca.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

If you have any questions related to the CER Safety Advisories, please ask them below! All questions submitted will be anonymous and may be edited for clarity. 

  • Safety Advisory SA 2020-01 contains the following statement: “The CER expects that regulated pipeline companies design welded pipelines to withstand those loads that result in longitudinal strains in meeting the requirements of Clause 4.2.4 of CSA Z662-19, and that companies can demonstrate they are in compliance with those requirements of the Clause.” What does CER consider to be suitable demonstration by a CER regulated company that they are in compliance with those requirements of the Clause?

    over 1 year ago

    We expect the form of demonstration to vary depending on the specific circumstances of each pipeline and company. However, at a high level, we would expect companies to first look at the design documents of the pipeline to determine if the strain capacity of the girth weld area was explicitly considered for the entire pipeline at the design stage of the pipeline lifecycle. This strain capacity consideration should have requirements, or assumptions, set to prevent failures due to strain accumulation in the girth weld area from under-matching girth welds. We would expect these requirements or assumptions to be some combination of the following during development of the weld procedure specification (WPS) and supported by the tests in the procedure qualification records (PQR):

    • Maximum longitudinal yield and tensile strengths of pipe materials
    • HAZ softening specifications on pipe materials
    • Girth weld tests on project pipe
    • Minimum weld consumable strengths


    Demonstration should also confirm that these requirements were achieved in construction.

    If this was not explicitly considered for all girth weld areas, which we understand to be the case in some pipelines, we would expect companies to be able to demonstrate in the form of a susceptibility study (possibly an engineering assessment) of the pipeline(s) in question. Based on the literature reviewed during the writing of the Safety Advisory, we would expect the susceptibility study to include some combination of the following:

    • Tensile testing of girth weld area on pipeline cut-outs or reserve pipe.
    • A review of WPS and the supporting PQRs to determine if:
      • there is a potential for HAZ softening in the girth weld area,
      • any tests failed within the weld area,
      • project pipe was used, and if not, if the pipe used is representative of project pipe, and
      • root bead passes on welds match or exceed actual yield strength of the joining pipe material.
    • A review of yield and tensile strength of the project pipe MTRs to determine if:
      • the yield and strength values used to develop the WPS are representative of project pipe, and
      • there is any concern of material yield strength greatly exceeding minimum specifications.
    • A review of available geohazard management data to ensure that there has been no unexpected slope movement or subsidence.

    Thank you again for your question, if you need any further clarification, please do not hesitate to reach out again.

  • 1) For new CER regulated natural gas pipelines, will the CER require that the test reports corresponding to the WPS (welding procedure specification) used to make the girth welds indicate that the tensile test specimens failed in the parent metal, as opposed to failing in the deposited weld metal or HAZ? Does the answer depend on the grade of the pipe used to make the pipeline? 2) For new CER regulated natural gas pipelines, will the CER require that pipe used for qualifying the WPS that will be used to make the girth welds be representative of the strongest pipe that will be used to make the pipeline?

    over 1 year ago
      1. The CER is not currently requiring submission of any materials in relation to the Safety Advisory SA 2020-01. However, when assessing the hazard that is discussed in the Safety Advisory SA 2020-01 for existing pipelines, Staff is of the view that doing as you have suggested aligns with the intent of the Safety Advisory, that is: review test reports corresponding to the WPS used to make girth welds to determine the location of failure within test specimens and the measured stress at failure. In fact Staff is of the view that reviewing all available girth weld area test reports, as failed tests may give additional insight to the susceptibility of a pipeline to this hazard. For pipelines that have not yet been constructed, or those that have tests that are inconclusive in determining girth weld area susceptibility to strain accumulation, Staff is of the view that each WPS should be specifically tested to determine the susceptibility to strain accumulation due to under-matching in the girth weld area. This could include specific tests to quantify the level of HAZ softening in the material due to girth welding and/or specific tests for deposited weld metal strength.

      2. Again, the CER is not currently requiring submission of any materials in relation to the Safety Advisory SA 2020-01, such as requirements for what pipe must be used for qualifying WPS. However, in determining susceptibility, Staff is of the view that pipe that is representative of the strongest pipe to be used in the pipeline should be used for qualifying the WPS that will be used to make girth welds on the pipeline. Alternate means for determining susceptibility could be acceptable if they are based on sound engineering fundamentals and supported by engineering assessments.