Canada is a huge country, but most Canadians live near the southern border, where it’s warmer. However, our oil and gas resources are often concentrated in areas far away from population centres. That’s where pipelines come in. Pipelines are a critical part of Canada’s oil and natural gas delivery network.
Pipelines transport crude oil and raw natural gas from Canada’s producing regions to refineries and processing plants, where these energy sources are converted into useful fuels, such as gasoline, diesel and commercial-grade natural gas.
Pipelines are also used to transport consumer-ready fuels to large terminals on the edge of towns and cities, where the fuels are distributed to homes and businesses.
Canada’s pipelines are like a network of energy highways, but you don’t see them because they are tucked safely underground. Get a glimpse of the pipelines in Canada and the US with this interactive pipelines map. Today there are an estimated 825,000 km of pipelines criss-crossing Canada. If you laid them end to end, that would be enough pipe to circle the earth two and a half times!
Compressors or pumps keep the resources flowing through the pipelines. With that help, natural gas flows through pipelines at up to 40 km per hour, somewhere between a cantor and full-out gallop of an average horse. Oil is slower; it takes from 30 to 35 days to travel through pipelines from Alberta to Ontario.