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Navigating Pipeline Removal: A Closer Look at Sections 73, 74, and 81 of Alberta’s Pipeline Rules

New Pipeline Rules Updates (November 15,2023) – Sections 73, 74, and 81 Alberta’s Pipeline Rules (Pipeline Removal)


In the evolving realm of pipeline management, Alberta's Pipeline Rules (Rules) have undergone substantial updates, notably in Sections 73, 74, and 81. This blog takes a closer look at the nuanced changes, emphasizing the streamlined application procedures for pipeline removal and specific requirements introduced by the Regulator. Additionally, it explores how Conformii, a robust compliance management system, facilitates a seamless adaptation to these regulatory shifts.

Understanding the Updates in Sections 73, 74, and 81 of the Pipeline Rules:

  1. Section 73 of the Rules represents a reorganization of requirements, updating the pipeline removal process to align with current discontinuation and abandonment processes. The essence of this update lies in ensuring consistency by requiring notification after the activity is completed. Licensees must now seek Regulator approval within 90 days of concluding the discontinuance, abandonment, or removal operation, emphasizing alignment with contemporary regulatory practices.

  2. Section 74 of Rules introduces the possibility for discontinuing or abandoning an entire pipeline system, allowing for the preservation of underground tie-ins under certain circumstances. However, this is contingent on applying for approval to the Regulator prior to commencing such activities, including cover letter explaining the scope and circumstances, along with a listing of all line segments.

  3. A pivotal update, Section 81 of the Rules now provides detailed and requirements for licensees when conducting removal operations. The key requirements are as follows:

Balanced Approach:

While these recent updates to Alberta's Pipeline Rules, bring significant improvements to streamline processes and enhance regulatory consistency, it's noteworthy that the Regulator has not implemented more stringent requirements related to when pipelines must be removed. Contrary to rumors, there hasn't been a mandate to increase circumstances requiring the removal of pipelines.

This decision by the Regulator reflects a balanced approach, acknowledging the complexities and considerations involved in pipeline management. The existing framework allows for efficient processes while preserving operational flexibility for industry players.

The absence of additional removal requirements aligns with the industry's need for practical and sustainable solutions. It recognizes the importance of responsible pipeline management without imposing unnecessary burdens on companies. As the regulatory landscape evolves, this measured approach encourages industry compliance without compromising operational efficiency.

The Role of Conformii:

Conformii proves indispensable for companies navigating these updated rules. Its compliance management capabilities streamline a companies application submission process and ensure adherence to the detailed requirements of Sections 73, 74, and 81.

Benefits of Conformii:

  • Efficient Application Management: Companies can easily link and manage all required documents for pipeline discontinuance, abandonment, or removal in their Conformii briefcase. This streamlined process facilitates the creation and submission of applications, ensuring a seamless and efficient way to obtain Regulator approval. 

  • Automated Reminders: Conformii's built-in regulatory calendar feature provides automatic reminders, preventing oversights and assisting companies in meeting the 90-day application deadline and timelines relating to the removal of pipe and equipment from pipeline right of ways.


As Alberta's Pipeline Rules undergo changes in Sections 73, 74, and 81, Conformii proves to be a reliable solution for companies striving for compliance excellence. By simplifying application procedures, enhancing document control, and offering automated reminders, Conformii empowers companies to navigate these regulatory updates with efficiency and confidence. Embracing Conformii is a proactive step toward achieving optimal compliance management in the ever-evolving realm of pipeline regulations, especially as Sections 73 and 81 introduces a trust but verify regulatory approach.

Webinar: Navigating Compliance in the New Era of Alberta's Pipeline Rules

Join us for the Navigating Compliance in the New Era of Alberta's Pipeline Rules webinar! This online event is now available for viewing at your convenience.

In this webinar, we will delve into the latest updates and regulations surrounding pipeline compliance in Alberta. Our expert speaker, Erin Maczuga of Compliance Kiwi, provides valuable insights and guidance on how to navigate these new rules successfully.

Erin Maczuga is the Founder and Chief Compliance Officer of Compliance Kiwi. As a former regulator for the AER, Erin was the original architect of the AER's Compliance and Enforcement program. This level of experience provides the knowledge to help energy companies leverage compliance strategically to boost profitability and sustainability. With his thorough understanding of how regulatory bodies assess and enforce compliance protocols, he is equipped to provide expert-level advice and insights.

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