Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/30/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Compound is far more corrosive to pipelines

Bitumen, commonly referred to as "dirty oil," has many concerned over its environmental impact on the petrochemical industry. Far more corrosive than regular crude oil, bitumen poses a hazard to traditional oil pipelines.

The oil industry maintains that bitumen is safe, but the danger of transporting it is one of the reasons there is so much opposition to the Keystone pipeline expansion.

The oil industry maintains that bitumen is safe, but the danger of transporting it is one of the reasons there is so much opposition to the Keystone pipeline expansion.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/30/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Business & Economics

Keywords: Bitumen, dirty oil, transportation, pipeline, Canada


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United States currently imports over half a million barrels a day of bitumen from Canada's oil sands region. The amount of bitumen transported to the U.S. is set to grow to over 1.5 million barrels, nearly 10 percent of the country's current consumption. Imports are set to triple over the next decade, raising concerns over the environmental impact of extracting it and whether pipelines can safely transport this Canadian oil.

A heavy, tar-like oil, bitumen needs to be heavily processed in order to be turned into lighter, easier to refine, crude oil. As the oil is so thick, in order to make it more fluid and easier to move by pipeline, bitumen gets diluted with natural gas liquids.

The oil industry maintains that bitumen is safe, but the danger of transporting it is one of the reasons there is so much opposition to the Keystone pipeline expansion.

"We've got all this unconventional crude, and we're completely unprepared for it," Michael Marx, a senior campaign director at the Sierra Club says, adding that bitumen is "definitely more dangerous" than regular oil.

Marx says bitumen is not only more abrasive than traditional crude; it's 15 to 20 times more acidic.

The Sierra Club put out a report demonstrating that pipelines in Alberta, where bitumen is commonly transported, had 16 times the number of leaks than pipelines in the United States, which generally don't carry it.

When bitumen does leak, environmentalists say it's harder to clean up, because unlike regular oil, they say it's heavier than water, meaning it will sink to the bottom of lakes, rivers or bays.

"We just don't have the technical sophistication to vacuum oil off the bottom of a river," he said.

Bitumen currently comes into this country via a pipeline running from Alberta to Wisconsin and in the original Keystone pipeline that terminates in Illinois.

Canada says it is planning on vastly increasing the amount of oil and bitumen that it gets out of its oil sands region. To get that oil out, more infrastructures needs to be built.

Some ideas call for pipelines to Canada's West Coast, to the Atlantic Coast through New England, and an expansion of rail lines. However, all of these routes would pass through sensitive ecological areas.

Canada's oil industry vehemently rejects the "dirty oil" moniker, saying it is more energy and water intensive than some forms of light crude, but not more so than many of the other heavy oils used in the Untied States from places like Mexico, Venezuela or California.

The pipeline industry says transporting bitumen isn't any more dangerous than transporting regular crude, pointing to other studies that show it's not any more abrasive or corrosive to pipelines.

The Alberta-to-U.S. bitumen pipeline leak comparison is not accurate, they claim, because Alberta uses a different metric to measure pipeline leaks.

More importantly, the industry says the pipeline companies would not agree to carry this stuff if it really was destroying their systems.

"No pipeline operator would want to spend billions of dollars to transport something their pipeline can't handle," Andy Black, president of the U.S.-based Association of Oil Pipe Lines says.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Business & Economics

U.S. hit with price hikes: Apartment rent, restaurant meals and haircut prices are up Watch

Image of Starbucks has increased the price of their coffee from around 5 cents to 20 cents per cup.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Prices of restaurant meals, gym memberships, haircuts and even a cup of coffee are rising in America, as well as apartment rent. American consumers are beginning to feel the financial burden, as the inflation rates in the U.S. start to kick in. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


Big name companies demand Planned Parenthood to remove names off list of corporate donors Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Representatives from Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Co. and Xerox openly state they've requested Planned Parenthood to take their company's names out as corporate donors to the controversial organization. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Planned Parenthood is now ... continue reading


Gun sales in the United States dramatically boost after massacre shootings Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

FBI's latest background check data shows the gun industry spiked in sales at about 11 percent last June. There are about 1.53 million background checks done, making it the busiest June ever since the agency started keeping track in 1999, according to CNN. The massive ... continue reading


Microsoft slammed for thousands of layoffs while demanding increase in immigration Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

About 7,800 Microsoft employees are in line to be fired, according to a company announcement last Wednesday. Most workers are from the seemingly failing mobile phone business, while Microsfot is said to fire a majority of Nokia's remaining employees ever since ... continue reading


Subway and Jared break up after controversial police raid at spokesman's home Watch

Image of Jared Fogle is known for his massive weight loss on a

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Subway spokesman, Jared Fogle's house was raided by FBI agents and Indiana State Police, two months after the former executive director of Fogle's foundation was arrested with charges of child pornography. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - In their statement, ... continue reading


'Enough with all the rules' firework industry calls out to Obama Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This year, more states have allowed people to buy pyrotechnic materials, such as sparklers and Roman Candles. In fact, this year has been wonderful for fireworks manufacturers, since the projected 2015 sales of celebratory explosives are estimated to top $1 billion. ... continue reading


Whole Foods accused of greatly overcharging customers Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Whole Foods, the American foods supermarket chain that specializes in organic goods, has been accused of massive overcharging. The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs explained they have discovered "systematic overcharging for pre-packaged foods" at the city's ... continue reading


Strange and powerful 'boat swallowing' vortex appears in Lake Texoma Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A strange, giant vortex, estimated to be around 8-feet in diameter, has appeared in Lake Texoma. This occurrence is surprising and perhaps threatening. However, there is an explanation. MUNTUNLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Lake Texoma is known as one of the ... continue reading


Is it time to stash money under mattress? 'It's time to hold physical cash,' fund manager says Watch

Image of Ian Spreadbury declined to predict the exact trigger but said it was more likely to happen in the next five years rather than 10.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Is it time to cash your paycheck and then stick it into a hatbox for a rainy day? According to British fund manager Ian Spreadbury, who invests more than £4 billion of investors' money is gravely concerned that a "systemic event" could rock markets. The upset ... continue reading


In spite of strong showing, Ron Paul predicts Apocalypse on Wall Street Watch

Image of Ron Paul has predicted economic doomsday previously. As stocks continue to make new highs, he remains just as convicted as ever that there

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Things seem to be on an even keel right now but according to former Representative Ron Paul, the Federal Reserve's easy money policies have left stocks and bonds are on the verge of a massive collapse. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I am utterly amazed at ... continue reading


All Business & Economics News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Leviticus 25:1, 8-17
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 7-8
2 Then the earth will acknowledge your ways, and all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:1-12
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2015 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter