Pipelines transport products to help meet everyday home and business energy needs, from heating your home and driving your car to using electronics.
The Alliance Pipeline transports vital, clean-burning natural gas. Turning on your stove and seeing that blue flame is comforting, but if you only think about natural gas as the methane used for home appliances and furnaces, you’re missing part of the picture. The liquids-rich natural gas that Alliance Pipeline transports contains other fuels like propane, ethane and butane – the raw materials for manufacturing things like plastics, textiles and some fertilizers. Natural gas energy and products generated from it are all around us as part of our everyday lives. North America requires a varied mix of energy sources to serve our growing economy and population and meet the demand for clean energy. Natural gas plays a vital role in that mix.
*Natural gas is:
Versatile...it fuels electric generators that produce about 20 per cent of our electricity, heats and cools six million homes and businesses, is a vital component of many products such as fertilizer, and powers manufacturing and transportation.
Cleaner burning...produces 45 per cent less carbon dioxide than coal and 30 per cent less carbon dioxide than fuel oil when burned.
Domestically abundant...nearly all the natural gas consumed in North America – 98 per cent – is produced in the United States and Canada, with current estimates pointing to enough gas reserves to meet future demand for 100 years
Reliable...available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of weather conditions.
For all these reasons, natural gas is a popular fuel choice. Secondary products, like those below are also created using natural gas.
Hazards Associated with the Product(s) We Transport
Alliance transports natural gas including methane, propane, butane, pentane and ethane entrained within the gas stream. Products transported on the Alliance pipeline are highly pressurized which keeps these products in a gaseous state. In the event of an uncontrolled release, product will exit the pipeline with considerable force. Natural gas is lighter than air and so will generally dissipate harmlessly into the atmosphere. In concentrated amounts, these products are flammable. Natural gas is non-toxic, but can displace oxygen, which could lead to a loss of consciousness or (in extreme cases) asphyxiation, under some conditions.
Alliance makes every effort to prevent an uncontrolled release of product from our system, including through the robust design of our pipeline, which utilizes steel that is generally thicker than most other pipelines operating in North America. Alliance also operates Pipeline Integrity and Damage Prevention programs which aim to keep the pipe safe and educate the public about the presence of our pipeline and how to live and work safely around it. In addition, we employ around-the-clock pipeline monitoring and have measures in place to minimize the amount of product released in the event of a leak or rupture, whereby valves will immediately and automatically close on either side of the impacted area.
Pipelines are, statistically, the safest way to transport products like natural gas. However, as with any method of transportation, accidents can happen.
Click here to learn about how to recognize and respond to a leak.