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Our Process

Natural Gas Pipeline Construction

Pipelines cannot be constructed overnight, and the entire construction process can take up to 18 months.

A pipeline construction project looks much like a moving assembly line. A large pipeline project typically is broken into manageable lengths called “spreads” and utilizes qualified contractors. Each spread is composed of various qualified crews, each with its own responsibilities.

Overview of pipeline construction illustration.

To view additional steps below, click and drag with your mouse from right to left (or to go backwards, from left to right). 

Illustration of Surveying & Staking

1. Surveying & Staking

Before any construction activities can begin, a survey crew carefully surveys and stakes the construction right of way.

Illustration of Clearing

2. Clearing

Clearing is the removal of all trees and brush from the construction work area

Illustration of Grading

3. Grading

Grading provides a relatively level surface to allow safe operation of heavy equipment required to dig the trench and install the pipe.

Illustration of Topsoil Segregation

4. Topsoil Segregation

Topsoil is segregated from the construction work areas

Illustration of Trenching

5. Trenching

The trenching crew typically uses a backhoe or a wheel trencher to dig the pipe trench.

Illustration of Stringing

6. Stringing

Pipeline segments are laid out along the trench

Illustration of Pipe Bending

7. Pipe Bending

The pipe bending crew uses a bending machine to make slight bends in the pipe.

Illustration of Welding

8. Welding

Welding joins the various sections of pipe together into one continuous length.

Illustration of Non Destructive Testing (NDT)

9. Non Destructive Testing (NDT)

Welds are inspected and evaluated according to specified welding procedures.

Illustration of Field Coating

10. Field Coating

Pipelines are externally coated to prevent moisture from coming into direct contact with the steel.

Illustration of Inspection and Repairs

11. Inspection and Repairs

Prior to lowering the pipe into the trench, the coating of the entire pipeline is inspected.

Illustration of Lowering Pipe into the Trench

12. Lowering Pipe into the Trench

Using a series of sidebooms, operators simultaneously lift and carefully lower the welded pipe into the trench.

Illustration of Backfilling

13. Backfilling

With the pipeline successfully lowered-in, crews begin backfilling the trench.

Illustration of Hydrostatic Testing

14. Hydrostatic Testing

Before product is transported through a new pipeline, the entire length of the pipeline is pressure tested using water.

Illustration of Restoration

15. Restoration

The final step is to restore the right of way and easement land as closely as possible to its original condition.

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Please note: Enbridge Inc. does not take responsibility for the content of this website as information may be out of date or no longer accurate as of December 17, 2018.