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View Diary: lax regulation and loopholes for dilbit pipelines (47 comments)

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  •  Is there a report (0+ / 0-)

    somewhere that says the corrosive effects of Tar Sands have caused a pipeline leak?

    Also, I thought that benzene was naturally present in crude oil, rather that added as a dilutent.  I've read that tar sands were diluted with other chemicals, loosely termed natural gasoline.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 09:02:16 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  not uniform agreement on that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093

      many hits at google

      Proper studies must be done and the tar sands industries are not being helpful (surprise surprise)

      This short Scientific American online article from yesterday is a good summary:

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/...

      The chemistry of the tar sands oil could contribute to corrosion as well. In processing, the tar sands are boiled to separate the bitumen from the surrounding sand and water, and then mixed with diluent—light hydrocarbons produced along with natural gas—to make the oil less viscous and able to flow. But even so, the resulting dilbit is among the lowest in hydrogen as well as the most viscous, sulfurous and acidic form of oil produced today.
      A study from the Alberta government (pdf), however, casts doubt on the notion that dilbit is worse for pipelines than any other oil is. It found that dilbit is not corrosive at pipeline temperatures of as much as 65 degrees Celsius, although it is highly corrosive at refinery temperatures above 100 degrees C. Nor is the fine sand that remains in some of the dilbit eroding pipelines, though it does form sludges that must be cleaned. The higher temperature operation may even kill off the bacteria that help to corrode pipelines carrying other types of oil. "There is no evidence that dilbit causes more failure than conventional oil," geologist John Zhou of the provincial government research firm Alberta Innovates said during an interview in November on a trip to the tar sands; Zhou helped prepare the Canadian province's analysis of dilbit. The U.S. National Academies is currently studying the issue.

      Defund Koch industries

      by machiado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 07:30:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I defer to the NTSB to produce a report that did (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      machiado, 6412093

      not come from the oil industry or consultants who have worked for them.  But, here's their report on the Enbridge Kalamazoo River Spill which indicates that the public was not adequately warned about and safeguarded against the many risks to health, property, etc.

      It seems clear that the safety teams and the public were not aware of what exactly was being transported, even last weekend in Arkansas.  That issue needs to be addressed.  The mayor was on TV as well as many others working on site without proper safety clothing and masks.  The NTSB report clearly calls out that the onus per the new law enacted in Jan 2012 is on the oil company to promote awareness of the pipeline system.  But, it doesn't seem to go far enough.

      Bitumen comes out of the ground with both sand and water which even the oil industry agrees are corrosive.  They claim that those are removed in the process to generate the diluted dilbit.  There does not seem to be any control point at which our regulators know exactly what the chemical and corrosive makeup of the mixture is.

      •  thanks (0+ / 0-)

        you are spot on about the unawareness of Arkansans about the pipeline's existence, much less what was in it.  The NTSB report on the Kalamazoo spill will make for some interesting reading.

        Defund Koch industries

        by machiado on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 09:55:12 AM PDT

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        •  Machiado, here's better information from a spill (0+ / 0-)

          expert, Riki Ott.  It was published on the 4th.  So, you may have read it.  But, it's great information for all victims of tar sands/dilbit spills.

          •  According to Ott, 18 people have already died (0+ / 0-)

            from exposure to dilbit fumes after the Enbridge spill.   Here's the quote,

            "Similarly, tar sands oil and diluents made people sick in Michigan, where residents of one trailer court and neighborhood along the oiled riverbank blame exposure to tar sands oil and fumes for illness outbreaks and eighteen deaths -- and counting. Oil and diluents can cause short- and long-term harm to health if people are not forewarned (educated about chemical illnesses, exposure, symptoms, and treatment) and given protection.

            Dilbit has a mandatory 1,000-foot evacuation zone. Was it uniformly enforced? In Michigan, people in richer areas were evacuated while people in poorer areas were either not evacuated or were forced to relocate when the city condemned public housing units."

            There were over 334 health incidents in one article that I read.

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        that common sense tells you that Tar Sands crude would be abrasive, but I've read that it's never been implicated in a pipeline failure.

         The awful Kalamazoo spill was triggered by corrosion from outside, not inside the pipe, for instance.

        Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

        by 6412093 on Fri Apr 05, 2013 at 11:10:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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