Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Environmental Considerations for Pipeline Abandonment: A Case Study From Abandonment of a Southern Alberta Pipeline

[+] Author Affiliations
Jessica M. Swanson

TERA Environmental Consultants, Calgary, AB, Canada

Tom Kunicky

Cutbank Inspection, Calgary, AB, Canada

Pete Poohkay

ATCO Pipelines, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2010-31669, pp. 179-185; 7 pages
  • 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference
  • 2010 8th International Pipeline Conference, Volume 3
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 27–October 1, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute and the Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4422-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3885-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Since the 1920s, over 400,000 km of petroleum pipelines have been installed in Alberta. Pipeline abandonment is an increasingly relevant issue as the pipeline network ages. The full or partial abandonment of pipeline systems is necessitated by factors such as wind or water erosion issues, pipeline integrity issues, changes in source supply and customer demand, urban development encroachment and regulatory requirements. Pipeline abandonment-in-place is generally the preferred option based on the technical condition and environmental sustainability of the pipeline, however, in some cases pipeline removal or partial removal cannot be avoided. In all cases, the planning process for abandonment includes technical evaluation, risk assessment, environmental assessment, landowner consultation and/or evaluation of future land use. Abandonment plans must also include environmental protection measures to be implemented during the removal of any pipeline segment and consideration of the post-abandonment implications of any pipeline left in place. These measures include topsoil conservation, erosion/sediment control and reclamation. This paper discusses environmental protection measures for pipeline abandonment, using issues faced during abandonment of one of the oldest natural gas pipelines in Alberta as a case study. Challenges faced during this project included gathering of appropriate historical information including leak history and maintenance records, removal of all aboveground facilities, accommodations for future land use plans including road development and measures taken to minimize the risk of the abandoned pipeline becoming a water conduit. In addition, the paper will discuss the extensive planning and construction effort required to undertake pipeline abandonment at several fish-bearing watercourse crossings, where pipeline exposures during high water events necessitated pipeline removal. A primary objective in the planning and the removal of the abandoned pipeline was minimal disturbance of the land.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Pipelines



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In