Fueling innovation

As the world’s appetite for affordable energy supplies continues to grow, we’re proud to report that some of the innovative technologies we’ve developed are helping to meet that demand safely and more efficiently than ever before.

Each year, we invest millions to improve the safety and efficiency of our operations and minimize environmental impacts.

Always striving for better

We have an impressive track record of implementing leading-edge technologies and techniques developed through our R&D program.

Since 2010 alone, we’ve dedicated more than $150 million to develop new technologies advancing safety, integrity and quality in our industry.

Some of our latest research includes:

  • A pilot study using technology originally developed by NASA
  • Innovative thermal camera pipeline leak detection technology tested on the Keystone line in Alberta
  • Ongoing research to study how grizzly bears in Alberta interact with linear features, like pipeline rights of ways
  • Involvement in an industry-wide collaboration to investigate leak detection systems - the first tool of its kind in the world of this scale
  • Continued research to better understand the stress corrosion cracking mechanism

Committed to safety

Safety is our top priority. To learn how a partnership with industry peers is helping Canada’s biggest pipeline companies test the latest leak detection technologies for oil pipelines, watch the following video.

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More efficiency, fewer emissions

Our commitment to reducing emissions and improving efficiency isn’t new. Far from it: for over half a century we have tested promising new technologies to minimize emissions and fuel consumption of our pipeline stations.

For example:

  • In 1964, we introduced the pipeline industry’s first Rolls-Royce Avon turbine, and continued our partnership for over 50 years
  • In the 1970s, we invented the pulldown compressor station to capture and recycle natural gas
  • We recently supported the development of a new, standards-raising 16.5 megawatt gas turbine by our long-time partner General Electric.

Learn more about our R&D initiatives by reading our R&D Fact Sheet.

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Case study: One-of-a-kind R&D facility

Formerly a working TransCanada compressor station, our Gas Dynamic Test Facility in Didsbury, Alberta, has been the scene of some of our best R&D work.

Currently, the facility is capable of testing a variety of measurement technologies, supporting GHG emission studies and exploring pipeline material parameters. The site is the historical home of the first above ground full-scale natural gas test loop in the world.

Some of the breakthrough innovations discovered at the facility include:

  • Software developed in 1996 to eliminate compressor breakdowns
  • Blow down silencer patented in the 1990s
  • Patented two-stage supersonic ejector to prevent natural gas leakage from compressor seals
  • New methods to measure power loss across pulsation control devices used in compressors
  • Development of a world-class shock tube facility designed to mimic decompression wave and pipeline rupture scenarios

Read more about our one-of-a-kind R&D facility in Didsbury.