Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/30/2012 (2 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 (2 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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Business & Economics

Game over: Saudi Arabia threatens to increase oil production to dangerously drive America out of the oil market Watch

Image of America's rising oil production has threatened Opec's control of the global oil market, but Saudi Arabia may be striking back, upping its own production in order to drive costs beyond the ability of American oil corporations to compete.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite the continuing decline of the price of oil, Saudi Arabia has actually increased its oil production in an attempt to gain a victory in the oil war against shale drillers in the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Middle Eastern oil ... continue reading


Talk about a killer app! Apple posts largest profit in history of mankind Watch

Image of The iPhone 6, which has helped Apple post the record largest profit ever made by a corporation.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Apple has sold 74.5 million iPhones in just the last three months, helping the tech giant's profits soar to $18 billion, up more than 37 percent. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This is the largest profit ever made by a corporation, edging out the $16.2 billion ... continue reading


ECONOMIC EARTHQUAKE: IBM rumored to lay off 110,000 employees - biggest cull in business history Watch

Image of First reported on the Forbes Web site, IBM scoffed at the news. Representatives said that the reported scale of the job cuts

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are alarming indications that the largest corporate layoff in history may be near. There are rumors afoot that computer IBM plans to lay off 110,000 employees shortly. As their entire worldwide workforce is estimated at 430,000, this represents a quarter ... continue reading


Living on less than $2 dollars a day: Only 5 percent of global wealth belongs to the poorest 80 percent of the world Watch

Image of Millions of people around the world are living off of less than two dollars a day.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The staggering increasing inequality among the wealthy and poor around the world continues to be a pressing issue. Eighty rich billionaires have as much money as 3.5 billion of the poorest people. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The wealthy are occuring their ... continue reading


An amazing 2,500 of the world's most prestigious people canvas Davos, Switzerland for this year's World Economic Forum Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Around 1,700 private jets will cover the sky, as the most elite people of the world descend on the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Throughout the next week, world leaders, wealthy businessmen and even influential pop stars will come together to speak ... continue reading


Do they have your best interests at heart? A shocking 50 PERCENT of the global wealth precariously belongs to only ONE PERCENT of the world's population Watch

Image of Nearly 50 percent of the world's entire riches belong to only one percent of its people.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Davos men, the world's most elite billionaires and politicians, gather at the World Economic Forum to once again attempt to tackle inequality between the rich and poor as the disparity continues to grow. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Every year the world's ... continue reading


Downturn of low gas prices: Schlumberger to cut 9,000 jobs due to decline at pump prices Watch

Image of The precipitous fall of $1.8 billion came in a series of one-time charges related to the steep fall in commodity prices.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is a downside to the plunging prices at the gas pump: Americans will be losing jobs as companies struggle to make up the difference in falling revenue. Case in point: Schlumberger is cutting 9,000 jobs due to low oil prices. Other petroleum companies are ... continue reading


Improved economy? Study says labor force participation at 36-Year Low Watch

Image of The labor force participation rate is defined as the percentage of the civilian non-institutional population who either had a job or was actively seeking one during the month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gas prices may be cheaper, consumer confidence may be higher - but that does not take away from the brutal fact that many Americans remain jobless. A record 92,898,000 Americans 16 and older did not participate in the labor force in December, as the labor force ... continue reading


The Rise and Fall of the World's Poorest Nations Watch

Image of Leaving list of LDCs entials that of productive capacity development, structural transformation resilience building and sustainable improvement in human and social capital.

By Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service

The world's 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) - a special category of developing nations created by the General Assembly in 1971 but refused recognition by the World Bank - have long been described as "poorest of the poor" in need of special international ... continue reading


Is pot the future boom business? The founder of Pay Pal thinks so Watch

Image of The co-founder and former CEO of PayPal, Peter Thiel is investing multiple millions of dollars into Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based marijuana growing, production, distribution and information company.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Founders Fund, a $2 billion dollar, San Francisco-based venture capitalist firm ran by the co-founder and former CEO of PayPal is moving in a new investment direction, turning towards pastures a little greener than former tech and Silicon Valley ... 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, Deuteronomy 18:15-20
15 Yahweh your God will raise up a prophet like me; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
1 Come, let us cry out with joy to Yahweh, acclaim ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 1:21-28
21 They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 7:32-35
32 I should like you to have your minds free from all ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 1st, 2015 Image

St. Brigid of Ireland
February 1: Brigid was probably born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, ... 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