Collaboration across the nation(s)

When it comes to collaboration, the whole truly is greater than the sum of its innovative-minded parts.

Engineers talking about an inline inspection tool
We work together with industry peers on a range of collaborative research organizations, industry associations and joint industry partnerships and projects. (N.B. image captured pre-COVID)

Collaboration in innovation means more than just working across disciplines.

At Enbridge, we work together with industry peers on a range of collaborative research organizations, industry associations and joint industry partnerships/projects. Through these efforts, Enbridge helps to advance both the state-of-the-science and the state-of-practice for pipeline operators across the globe.

Pooling resources through collaboration enables larger projects that can tackle matters of significant importance to the industry and the public. Ultimately, it creates more responsible resource development—the delivery of energy in a safer, more efficient, cleaner and more sustainable manner.

Collaboration is about more than simply leveraging resources. It fuels innovation through diverse thoughts and backgrounds. Bringing together subject-matter experts from across the industry creates an energized, engaged team whose interests align—but whose differing experiences and insights help drive clear identification of needs, inspire new ideas and associations, and accelerate the rate of learning that drives effective innovation.

iPIPE partnership logo 
“iPIPE continues to push the envelope, constantly seeking new technology that shows promise, but needs a bit of guidance to complete development and become commercial,” says iPIPE Program Manager Jay Almlie.

Intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program (iPIPE)

Enbridge joined the Intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program (iPIPE) consortium in April 2019, and will continue to collaborate with iPIPE industry partners through 2021 to assist and foster development of emerging technologies to prevent and detect leaks.

The iPIPE group consists of leading companies in the upstream and midstream pipeline industry whose collective goal is to encourage development of the most promising near-commercial technologies for leak detection and integrity monitoring.

iPIPE logo

Starting with an annual Shark Tank-type format, early-stage commercial technology innovators compete for direct field trials of promising ideas—a process that has resulted in advancing various cutting-edge products. Member operators of this joint industry partnership help the selected technology providers to refine their products through continuous feedback and by allowing the providers to demonstrate their capabilities on working pipelines.

Among the innovations considered through iPIPE are novel sensor systems for use both inside and outside pipes—including sound, chemical, camera-based and satellite-supported systems.

Specifically, Enbridge has been involved in evaluating satellite-based leak and threat detection systems that leverage machine-learning techniques. This has led to monitoring and analytics innovations as well as a field-testing program on Enbridge's liquids pipeline network to gauge sensitivity and reliability of satellite detection capabilities. 

With regular revisit times and increasingly capable space-based sensor systems, satellite technology holds a great deal of interest for companies such as Enbridge, whose assets span a considerable portion of the North American continent.  

National Petroleum Council (NPC)

At the request of the U.S. Secretary of Energy, we lent our voice to oil and gas industry leadership by participating in a National Petroleum Council (NPC) study on U.S. energy transportation infrastructure in 2019.

Enbridge has long touted North America as a preferred source of responsibly sourced energy to meet domestic and global demand, while reducing emissions at the same time. This NPC study, titled Dynamic Delivery: America’s Evolving Oil and Natural Gas Transportation Infrastructure, was published in December 2019 after an 18-month effort.

NPC logo

The study examines changes in supply and demand amid shale development, current infrastructure and future outlook, the role of government and regulatory agencies in permitting, and impacts of emerging and future technologies.

The study includes analysis, findings and policy recommendations with collaboration and input from industry, academia, non-governmental organizations and the U.S. government.

In terms of future outlook, the report aligns with our view that oil and gas will play critical roles in tackling global energy demand in the decades ahead; in fact, the International Energy Agency forecasts more than half of 2040 demand will be met by these two commodities.

Crude oil tank in winter 
Enbridge participated in an NPC study, titled Dynamic Delivery: America’s Evolving Oil and Natural Gas Transportation Infrastructure, which was published in December 2019 after an 18-month effort.
Pipes at Enbridge's Superior Terminal 
OTD projects are designed to enhance system safety, improve operating efficiencies, reduce operating costs and maintain system reliability and integrity.

Operations Technology Development (OTD) Corporation

OTD is a not-for-profit partnership of natural gas distribution companies formed to develop, test and implement new technologies.

OTD is led by 26 member companies, who collectively serve over 50 million natural gas consumers in the United States and Canada—about 60% of the households using natural gas.

OTD logo

OTD projects are designed to enhance system safety, improve operating efficiencies, reduce operating costs and maintain system reliability and integrity.

Current areas of focus for OTD include smart utilities, environment, pipe materials, repair and rehabilitation, construction techniques, excavation and site restoration, and methane emissions and detection.

Pipeline Research Council International (PRCI)

PRCI is a collaborative research community comprised of the world's leading pipeline operators (both liquids and gas), vendors, service providers, equipment manufacturers and other organizations supporting the industry.

Established in 1952, PRCI has consistently worked to deliver relevant and innovative applied research for the global energy pipeline industry, with over 1,400 reports available to members.

This year, under the chairmanship of Enbridge’s Walter Kresic, PRCI has transitioned to a modified research and innovation model—one that prioritizes larger issues of significance to the industry, while continuing to support focused research and innovation across eight technical committees.

PRCI logo

The goal of the PRCI’s Strategic Research Priority (SRP) approach is to pursue significant outcomes for the industry that require input from the experts on multiple technical committees.

SRPs are designed as coordinated programs to achieve specific near-term goals, with one- to five-year timelines.

In the first wave of SRPs, three priority areas have been targeted: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction; Detection and Mitigation of Mechanical Damage; and Efficient and Effective Crack Management.

Drone in flight 
PRCI's ROW-3-1A project: American Aerospace is using its AiRangerTM unmanned aerial platform to demonstrate and evaluate automated technologies that could power the next generation of aerial ROW surveillance.
Pipeline right of way in an urban neighborhood 
NYSEARCH program areas include advanced installation, maintenance and repair, direct and remote integrity assessment technologies, real-time sensing, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction and others.

NYSEARCH

NYSEARCH, a voluntary subcommittee within the Northeast Gas Association, manages a collaborative Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) program dedicated to serving its gas utility member companies.

Members of NYSEARCH participate in projects and programs to target RD&D areas that directly address their unique challenges and opportunities.

NYSEARCH logo

Like PRCI and OTD, the core of the NYSEARCH model is one where participating members collaborate on project selection and provide expert guidance through execution.

Enbridge’s involvement in NYSEARCH is managed through the membership of the Gas Distribution and Storage (GDS) team.

Program areas include advanced installation, maintenance and repair, direct and remote integrity assessment technologies, real-time sensing, greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction, evaluation of new materials and select “blue sky” projects with the potential to “change the game” for operators.

American Petroleum Institute (API)

The American Petroleum Institute traces its beginnings to World War I, when the United States Congress and its domestic oil and natural gas industry worked together to help the war effort.

The API was established on March 20, 1919, and its modern mission is to promote safety across the industry globally and to influence public policy in support of a strong, viable U.S. oil and natural gas industry.

API logo

In addition to advocacy and standards work, API conducts or sponsors research ranging from economic analyses to toxicological testing.

API also collects, maintains and publishes statistics and data on all aspects of U.S. industry operations to provide timely indicators of industry trends.

Energy pipeline in winter 
The American Petroleum Institute (API) collects, maintains and publishes statistics and data on all aspects of U.S. industry operations to provide timely indicators of industry trends.
Pipe bridge as part of slope subsidence project 
A recent INGAA joint industry partnership devised an approach for the proactive management of potential landslide hazards. Above, GPS units installed on Enbridge's Line 10 and Line 15 gas transmission pipelines are used to monitor for pipe movement in relation to aerial bridge position. Photo credit: D. Ross Pinney

INGAA Foundation

The INGAA Foundation was formed in 1990 by the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA) to advance the use of natural gas for the benefit of the environment and the consuming public. The foundation works to facilitate the efficient construction and safe, reliable operation of the North American natural gas pipeline system. It also promotes natural gas infrastructure development worldwide.

INGAA logo

The Foundation has more than 220 members representing natural gas pipeline companies, construction companies, engineering firms, pipe and compressor manufacturers, accounting firms, companies providing information technology services and other suppliers of goods and services to the pipeline industry.

A recent INGAA joint industry partnership, led by Enbridge’s Gas Transmission team, brought together 16 pipeline operators to share their experiences, insights and guidance, and develop an approach for the proactive management of potential landslide hazards—one that each operator can tailor to its own circumstances.

The resulting whitepaper features the best industry knowledge on the complete landslide hazard management process, from recognition to remediation.