Category Archives: Cathodic Protection

Corrosion Industry Leaders MATCOR and CP Masters Join Forces

Chalfont, PA (Aug 31, 2015) – MATCOR, Inc., the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrosion engineering solutions recently announced that the company has joined forces with CP Masters, Inc. The combined company will be known as MATCOR.

MATCOR_logoCP Masters brings 30 years of cathodic protection technical and system installation expertise to the MATCOR team. In addition to industry-qualified and experienced people, the company maintains one of the industry’s largest fleets of construction equipment.

This move enables MATCOR to execute cathodic protection and AC mitigation projects directly and efficiently. Additional benefits to customers include:

  • Improved cost-effectiveness
  • Consistent, high quality construction and installation services
  • Access to expert, conveniently located survey teams
  • Turnkey cathodic protection and AC mitigation solutions

“CP Masters and MATCOR have over 70 years of combined name recognition in the industry—with CP Masters known for superior construction and installation services, and MATCOR known for engineering expertise and proprietary products,” said Kevin Pitts, President of MATCOR, Inc. “Now as one company, we are able to offer customers a powerful combination of the best people, services and products in the corrosion industry.”

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3 Pipe Cathodic Protection Methods for New Plant Construction

Cathodic Protection for Underground Piping Overview

Pipe Cathodic Protection | Cathodic Protection for Underground Piping | Steel Pipe Corrosion Protection Methods
Steel Pipe Corrosion Protection Methods: Deep Anode, Shallow/Distributed Anode Bed and Linear AnodeCathodic Protection

This article reviews 3 steel pipe corrosion protection methods utilizing cathodic protection.

Cathodic protection, when applied properly, is an effective means to prevent corrosion of underground plant piping. For many underground applications, such as pipelines, cathodic protection system design is relatively straightforward. Plant and facility environments, however, are not simple applications. Plants have congested underground piping systems in a tightly spaced footprint. The presence of copper grounding systems, foundations with reinforcing steel embedded in concrete, conduit, utility piping and structural pilings (either bare or concrete with reinforcing steel) can greatly complicate the task of designing a pipe cathodic protection system.

For simple plant facilities, it is possible to isolate the piping and utilize a conventional galvanic corrosion prevention system. This works only if the plant piping is electrically isolated from other underground structures for the life of the facility. For most plant and facility applications, it is not practical to isolate the piping from the grounding system for the life of the facility. In these cases an impressed current anode system is the only alternative.

3 Methods of Cathodic Protection for Underground Piping and Structures

There are three basic approaches to cathodically protect underground piping and structures using impressed current anodes.

  1. Deep Anode

    One method is the deep anode in which high current capacity anodes are installed from the structure in a deep hole drilled vertically 150+ feet deep. This is analogous to lighting a football field with floodlights.

  2. Shallow Anode or Distributed Anode Bed

    Another method is to use a shallow ground bed anode design where many smaller capacity ground bed anodes are spaced near the intended structures – analogous to street lamps lighting a street.

  3. Linear Anode

    The third method is to place a linear anode parallel to and in close proximity to the piping to be protected discharging current continuously along its length – similar to fiber optic lighting.

This technical bulletin details the advantages of using the linear anode approach for new plant construction projects to protect buried piping in a congested environment. This approach provides the most effective solution both technically and commercially.

Pipe Cathodic Protection Design Issues for Plants & Facilities

Electrical Isolation in a Congested Plant Environment

Electrical isolation is a major concern when designing a CP system for any plant or facility application. Isolating a single cross country pipeline segment from point A to point B is achieved rather simply through the use of electrical isolation flanges/isolation joints that the pipeline operator maintains and tests regularly. The realities of power plant piping networks, on the other hand, significantly complicate electrical isolation. By code, everything above grade in a plant must be grounded, yet it is common to see pipe cathodic protection systems designed based on isolation of the buried piping. Even if electrical isolation is achieved during the plant construction, maintaining electrical isolation over the life of the facility may not be realistic. Given the speed and complexity with which new plants are erected, achieving electrical isolation during construction is no simple task. Once installed, electrical isolation flange kits require regular monitoring and periodic replacement that often does not occur. Piping modifications and other plant maintenance activities can also result in an inadvertent loss of electrical isolation. Cathodic protection for underground piping that relies on electrical isolation should be avoided for plant applications.

Current Distribution – a Critical Issue in Pipe Cathodic Protection Design

Another critical issue that must be properly considered during the design of a CP system for plant applications is the highly congested underground environment and the challenges of achieving thorough current distribution. Buried piping is often located in congested underground areas in close proximity to grounding systems, foundations with reinforcing steel, pilings systems, metallic duct banks and other structures that can shield current from the piping systems that are the intended target of plant cathodic protection systems. It is virtually impossible to assess where current will go in a plant environment – the more remote the anode source, the more difficult it is to assure appropriate current distribution.

Stray Current

When discussing current distribution, it is also important to discuss the potential for stray current. For grounded systems, current that is picked up by other buried metallic structures is merely current that is wasted and not available to protect the intended buried piping structures. For isolated metallic structures, such as foreign pipelines, ductile iron piping systems, and nearby facilities or structures, stray current may be a significant concern. Stray current problems occur when current is picked up on an isolated structure and later discharges off that structure and back to a grounded structure. At the location where stray currents discharge, rapid corrosion may be inadvertently induced on the isolated structure.

The Case for Linear Anode Cathodic Protection System Design

The linear anode solution consists of long runs of linear anode installed parallel and in very close proximity to the piping being protected. The current output is kept very low and is generally consistent across the entire system. A linear anode is in effect a distributed system with an infinite number of anodes spaced continually. This system provides the best technical cathodic protection solution and minimizes the current output required as follows:

  • Does not require electrical isolation.
    Because the linear anode is closely located next to the piping being protected, electrical isolation is not a significant concern. The anode is “closely coupled” to the piping and operates with a very low anode gradient that minimizes any losses to nearby structures including grounding.
  • Assures good current distribution as the anode runs parallel to the piping being protected.
    The linear anode cathodic protection system design eliminates any requirement for supplemental anodes to address areas where remote anodes may be shielded after the CP system is commissioned. Wherever the piping goes, the linear anode follows in the same trench. This also makes it very easy to adapt the design during piping revisions that may change the piping system routing as the plant construction proceeds.
  • Eliminates risks of stray current.
    Close proximity to the piping being protected significantly limits current losses to other structures and virtually eliminates shielding and stray current concerns. This also significantly reduces the total current requirements for the system, reducing the rectifier requirements.
  • Access issues – the linear anode is installed in very close proximity to the piping that is to be protected.
    This minimizes the risk of third party damage and reduces trenching required for buried cable. If installed in conjunction with the piping, the anode can be placed in the same trench as the piping affording the anode protection by the piping itself from external damage. This is a very cost effective cathodic protection installation when installed concurrently with the piping.
  • Ease of installation – when installed alongside the piping as the piping is being installed, the installation is simply a matter of laying the anode cable in the trench.

Our experts are happy to answer your questions about cathodic protection for underground piping.

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MATCOR Profiled in India Corrosion Publication

MATCOR Profile in Coatings and Anti-Corrosion Engineering Review, Apr/May 2015 issueThank you to Abraham Mathai at Coatings and Anti Corrosion Engineering Review for the profile about MATCOR and our 40th anniversary in the April/May 2015 issue!

MATCOR was founded in 1975 by William R. Schutt when he set out to develop a high quality, reliable source for cathodic protection products and equipment. The company designed and provided the first commercial cathodic protection system for reinforced concrete bridge decks that same year. The company has grown to offer a broad portfolio of proprietary cathodic protection and AC mitigation products, in addition to complete corrosion engineering services.

In March of 2015, MATCOR was acquired by Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services (Brand). Brand also owns CP Masters, Inc., a leader in the design and construction of cathodic protection and corrosion control prevention in the North American energy markets.

READ THE COMPLETE PROFILE

Video Demonstrates Cathodic Protection System Installation

Iron Gopher® Impressed Current Linear Anode System designed for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is installed beneath an above ground storage tank (AST)

Chalfont, PA  – MATCOR, Inc. the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrosion engineering solutions recently released a video showing the installation of the company’s Iron Gopher impressed current linear anode system at the site of an above ground storage tank in Texas.

Trenching to install cathodic protection systems may not be feasible for applications such as cross country pipelines, congested industrial environments and under above ground storage tanks. For these horizontal directional drilling applications, a linear anode with superior mechanical strength is required. The Iron Gopher with Kynex® technology is the only impressed current linear anode designed specifically for cathodic protection in horizontal directional drilling applications.

“As another example, Colonial Pipeline installed several thousand feet of our Iron Gopher® linear anode at an HDD project in NE Georgia,” said Ted Huck, VP of Sales for MATCOR. “With its unique design and greatly increased strength, Iron Gopher is superior to anything seen in the market for cathodic protection in HDD applications.”

Learn about MATCOR’s complete cathodic protection installation services.

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Linear Anode Cathodic Protection Presentation at NACE UAE

MATCOR to Present on Impressed Current Linear Anode Cathodic Protection at NACE UAE Corrosion Conference in Abu Dhabi

Chalfont, PA (April 27, 2015) – MATCOR, Inc. the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrShailesh Javia, MATCOR, Inc. to present on linear anode cathodic protection at NACE UAE.osion engineering solutions will present a paper exploring the use of flexible impressed current linear anodes to minimize current densities for a wide range of cathodic protection applications at the annual NACE UAE Corrosion Conference held at the St. Regis in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates May 12-14, 2015.

Flexible Impressed Current Linear Anode Cathodic Protection
Shailesh Javia, MATCOR
Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 3:35-4:00 p.m. in Al Mudhaif 1

The presentation explores flexible impressed current linear anode cathodic protection that extends the benefits of linear anodes for various CP applications. To minimize current distribution challenges, the linear anodes are designed utilizing multiple internal connections, which provides redundancy and protection against uneven anode consumption, minimizes current densities and allows placement in close proximity to the structure. The linear anode is simple to install, requiring only a small trench, and is ideal for congested areas and tight spaces. See below for the complete abstract.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shailesh Javia serves as International Director for MATCOR and has over 22 years experience focused on corrosion engineering and cathodic protection. His diverse knowledge and experience includes designing cathodic protection systems, managing turnkey CP projects and conducting commissioning surveys for cross country and city gas pipelines, tanks and vessels, tank bottoms, and industrial facilities including fertilizer, petrochemical and power plants, and refineries. Mr. Javia is a certified NACE Cathodic Protection Technologist, has successfully completed the NACE Direct Assessment Course and has presented several papers at NACE and ASME conferences.

ABSTRACT: Applications of Impressed Current Linear Anodes in Cathodic Protection

Flexible impressed current linear anodes can extend the benefits
 of linear anodes to a wide range 
of cathodic protection applications. Tight spaces, high traffic areas, poorly coated pipelines, new construction tank bottom, tank bottom retrofits, reinforcing steel-in-concrete, sheet pile walls or inside large diameter pipes – are all good examples of linear anode cathodic protection applications.

Linear anodes handle current distribution challenges by minimizing current densities, in addition to placement in close proximity to the structure being protected from corrosion. Innovative design utilizing 
multiple internal connections provides redundancy, protects against uneven
 anode consumption and minimizes
 voltage drop.

Linear anodes can simply 
be laid alongside a new pipeline; cable
 plowed next to an existing pipeline, or 
installed utilizing horizontal directional 
drilling (HDD) under an existing
 structure. Linear anodes require only a small trench for installation, ideal for congested areas and minimizing landowner “right of way” issues.

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MATCOR Celebrates 40 Years Protecting the World’s Infrastructure from Corrosion

Chalfont, PA (Jan 16) – MATCOR, Inc. the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems, and corrosion engineering solutions is celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2015.

matcor-40th logoIn 1975, William R. Schutt founded MATCOR, setting out to develop a high quality, reliable source for cathodic protection products and equipment. That same year, the company designed and provided the first commercial cathodic protection system for reinforced concrete bridge decks. Today, Mr. Schutt serves as MATCOR’s Chairman.

MATCOR has built a broad portfolio of proprietary products. The company received its first patent in 1984 for its deep anode cathodic protection system, the predecessor to today’s Durammo™ Deep Anode System. Other patented products include Kynex® waterproof anode to cable connection technology, the SPL™-INT-Anode for internal pipeline cathodic protection, the ORB™ Marine Anode and a precast anode plate system for use in steel-in-concrete applications.

In 1987, MATCOR experts served as part of the White House delegation to the Soviet Union under Ronald Reagan, invited for their expertise in concrete and construction infrastructure. The company has also received numerous safety, technical and industry awards in its 40-year history.

The company has grown from manufacturing and supplying cathodic protection products to offering a full array of turnkey cathodic protection and AC mitigation services and products.

William Schutt Web-1MATCOR is located in a state-of-the-art ISO 9001:2008 certified facility in Chalfont, PA. With a service office in Texas since 2006, an office opened January 2015 in India and a growing list of international distributors, MATCOR has established global reach in the corrosion industry. In 2014, the company delivered products and services to over 25 countries.

MATCOR Chairman William Schutt said, “MATCOR’s 40th anniversary is a tremendous milestone for the company. We’ve succeeded not only in our vision to become a reliable source of cathodic protection products; MATCOR has become a trusted global leader for both products and engineering services throughout the corrosion industry.”

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MATCOR Corrosion Experts Launch New App for Tank Cathodic Protection System Design

Design a Detailed Tank Ring Anode System for an Above Ground Storage Tank in Seconds with MATCOR’s Web Application.

Chalfont, PA – August 28, 2014, MATCOR, Inc., the trusted full-service provider of proprietary cathodic protection products, systems and corrosion engineering solutions, launched a valuable, timesaving web application that enables corrosion professionals to design a cathodic protection system for their above ground storage tanks (ASTs) in seconds.
Isaac Renfro, NACE Workforce Development Program graduate and MATCOR Technician
“This web-based app makes it easy for our customers to design tank cathodic protection systems and enables rapid turnaround for a quote,” says Douglas Fastuca, President of MATCOR. “An ease-of-use and quick response philosophy is consistent with MATCOR’s Tank Ring Anode System, which is very easy and safe to install within a few hours. With this productivity tool MATCOR continues its tradition of innovation and enabling creative cathodic protection solutions.”

The MATCOR Tank Ring Anode System App is available at matcor.com/tankring. The user enters specifications for their above ground storage tank and installation environment, and the app delivers detailed tank ring anode cathodic protection design specifications. MATCOR will then quickly quote and manufacture an accurate, reliable impressed current cathodic protection system, which utilizes patented Kynex® waterproof connection technology.
The factory-assembled MATCOR Tank Ring Anode System is fast and easy to install with no field anode assembly required. A small crew can install most systems in under two hours with no welding, hot permit, splicing of anode sections or special backfill required. MATCOR offers Tank Ring Anode Systems for new and retrofit tanks.


Learn more about AST Cathodic Protection


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Cathodic Protection Systems Vital in Above Ground Storage Tanks

In January 2014, above ground storage tanks (ASTs) containing the chemical 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) was released into Elk River in West Virginia. The leaks, which cursory reports believe to be the likely the result of corrosion, could have been avoided by implementing proper cathodic protection systems.

The facility, operated by Freedom Industries, containing the chemical was located in Charleston, West Virginia. Recently, federal investigators discovered that the spill might have originated from more than one tank and could account for up to 10,000 gallons of MCHM.

This catastrophe, which left the 300,000 residents across nine West Virginia counties without potable water, could have been avoided by taking proper precautions.

The spill is currently being attributed to corrosion in the above ground storage tanks that held the MCHM. Corrosion is a serious and persistent concern for ASTs, which must withstand the elements.

“Above ground storage tanks pose a specific set of problems when it comes to corrosion prevention. The evidence collected by several federal agencies suggests that this hazardous leak was the result of a tank bottom leak,” said Ted Huck, vice president, international sales and practice lead – plants and facilities at MATCOR. “The leak was caused by the corrosion of the tank bottom due to contact of the external tank plate with the soil.

“The resulting soil-side hole could have been prevented by MATCOR’s patented cathodic protection systems. While cathodic protection systems are commonly used in oil and gas storage tanks, they are not mandated and there are tanks across the country that do not have cathodic protection systems installed to protect tank bottoms from leaking.”

Cathodic protection systems are critical for preventing corrosion in ASTs.

Cathodic Protection Systems

The soil-side hole that resulted in the released chemical is a common problem among ASTs. MATOR has developed a reliable protection system for ASTs which uses our unique SPL-Anode system and patented Kynex® technology.

When building and maintaining above ground storage tanks consider the importance of cathodic protection systems. Learn more about MATCOR’s unique cathodic protection system for ASTs or contact us today.

CSB report reveals holes in more tanks at Freedom site,” Charleston Daily Mail, June 16, 2014.


Learn more about AST Cathodic Protection


Chief Big Dig engineer is fired over light fixture controversy

Helmut Ernst, the embattled chief engineer of the Big Dig, has been fired, the state transportation secretary said today, as the fallout continued from the controversy over a light fixture collapse earlier this year in one of the project’s tunnels.

Ernst had already been reprimanded and suspended for his role in the state’s failure to notify the public for more than a month after a corroded 110-pound light fixture collapsed onto the highway in the O’Neill Tunnel on Feb. 8.

Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Mullan said the department had finished a review of Ernst’s performance on Friday and concluded he could no longer serve as the District 6 highway director, the former title for his job as a top engineer in charge of the Big Dig tunnels.

Mullan said he offered Ernst other jobs in the transportation department, but Ernst, who has worked as an engineer for the state highway system for two decades, declined to take them.

“As a result of that, we terminated Helmut’s employment at the DOT today,” Mullan told reporters at the state’s highway operations center in South Boston. “It was clear that we lost confidence — I lost confidence — in him, and given some of the issues, someone in a leadership position like that, I would expect more,” Mullan said.

Tom Broderick, currently the chief engineer in the highway division, will replace Ernst while the department searches for a permanent replacement.

The collapse revealed widespread corrosion in lights throughout the 7.5-mile Big Dig tunnel system — and the delay by state officials in notifying the public sparked outrage and concern about the tunnels’ safety.

In an interview in July with the Globe, Ernst said his team of engineers filed no written report about the collapsed light fixtures despite state policy requiring documentation of safety issues. Ernst admitted his engineers had been wary about writing things down since the 2006 collapse of a Big Dig ceiling panel that killed a woman.

“After all the depositions in the ceiling collapse case, we just meet and talk about it … What’s the point of putting it in writing?” he said. He said engineers had been “trained not to.”

Ernst claimed he had called his boss, Frank Tramontozzi — who was forced to resign in March as highway administrator for his own role in mishandling the light fixture collapse — the day after the collapse. Tramontozzi said he didn’t learn about the collapse until Feb. 28.

Ernst also claimed he brought up the collapse at a Feb. 14 senior staff meeting. But seven other staffers, questioned by a staff lawyer at Mullan’s request, said they didn’t remember him mentioning it.

Mullan said he was not pushing out a whistleblower, who had spoken out about problems in the Big Dig. “I don’t think that’s related to it all,” he said.

He said there would not be a chilling effect on other employees, discouraging them from speaking out. “No,” he said. “It just didn’t work out, and sometimes it doesn’t work out.”

Mullan has said he plans to leave his own job by the end of the year, but said today he has not settled on the exact date when he plans to step down.

SOURCE: http://www.boston.com/Boston/metrodesk/2011/08/chief-big-dig-engineer-forced-out/XXfFA4dQ3daU1pNdCO4KHJ/index.html

Oil sands critics target a new concern – pipelines

The crude oil that is pulled from Canada’s oil sands is thick and heavy, a black tar-like substance that takes large amounts of energy and effort to make into end products like gasoline and diesel. Even some people in the Alberta energy industry describe it as “nasty” stuff.

But is it also dangerous?

Over the past few months, critics of the oil sands have taken a new tack. They are now arguing that oil sands crude, which contains more contaminants than traditional sources of crude, poses a risk to pipeline safety – and they’ve linked the recent spate of North American oil pipeline spills to what they say is the corrosive content of oil sands products.

It’s an argument that began with environmental groups, but has now been taken up by legislators. Last week, for example, Alcee Hastings, a U.S. Democratic congressman, warned that “the risk of an oil spill from these tar sands pipelines is very real.”

“The oil eats away the pipelines, compromising them and leading to frequent spills,” he said during a debate on the proposed TransCanada Corp. Keystone XL pipeline, which will bring oil sands crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast if it is approved. That echoes a February report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, an influential U.S. environmental group, which called oil sands crude a “highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable” substance that “may be putting America’s public safety at risk.”

That conclusion has always been contradicted by industry, which has maintained that oil sands crude is safe. TransCanada, for example, has argued that it simply would not place at risk its $13-billion Keystone line by filling it with a dangerous substance. Yet the debate highlights the political obstacles that exist for the project, a crucial piece of infrastructure for getting the ever-rising volume of Alberta oil to market.

The two sides have left little middle ground between them. So who is right?

Interviews with academics, engineers and federal officials make clear that oil sands crude does indeed appear to pose additional risks. But those risks are largely borne by refineries that have had to deal with a dirtier and more corrosive substance than industry has been accustomed to.

In pipelines, independent sources suggest that the danger is substantially lower. Indeed, in decades past, thick bitumen was actually used to coat pipelines as protection against corrosion. And pipelines are partly shielded by the fact that they operate nearer room temperatures. Refineries, in contrast, process crude at up to 400 degrees Celsius, and the fierce heat promotes a series of chemical interactions that don’t happen at lower temperatures.

The corrosion question largely surrounds the properties of diluted bitumen, also called “dilbit.”

Oil sands producers generally produce two different products. One, “synthetic crude,” has passed through a sort of pre-refinery, called an upgrader, to transform it into a lighter substance that contains far fewer impurities. Dilbit comes from producers that don’t run upgraders. Instead, they take the oil sands crude and, with minimal processing, thin it with a lighter oil and pump it into a pipeline. As a result, it contains far higher levels of numerous noxious substances, including sulphur, acids, salts and sediments.

That in itself has raised some concerns.

Take sulphur, for example. Oil sands crude contains sulphur levels up to 10 times higher than other oil. But in dilbit, the sulphur is locked up with heavy oil molecules. As a result, it is largely harmless inside a pipeline, said Harvey Yarranton, a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Calgary.

“You’d have to put it into reaction temperatures to release that sulphur – and those are above 300 Celsius,” he said.

Acids and salts are also found in substantially elevated levels in dilbit. But both substances are “not corrosive under pipeline conditions,” according to Natural Resources Canada, whose researchers have studied the corrosiveness of different oils. Acids need temperatures above 200 Celsius for corrosion to occur, the government said in a statement.

One area of concern remains sediments – little bits of sand that are embedded in oil. Industry measures these in pounds per 1,000 barrels. Conventional oil might measure 30 to 50 pounds per 1,000 barrels. Scott Bieber, a marketing manager with oil field services giant Baker Hughes Inc., has seen oil sands bitumen hit 500.

Sediments can contribute to corrosion in pipelines – and they have become a significant menace in refineries, where they have proven difficult to remove and help foul wastewater, Mr. Bieber said.

And environmental critics say that with the expansion in the oil sands, more study needs to be done of the effects dilbit has on pipelines. In particular, the thickness of oil sands crude – it’s far more viscous than conventional oil – creates friction inside pipelines that creates higher temperatures.

With Keystone XL, TransCanada has predicted temperatures as high as 55 Celsius. That remains far from the heat in a refinery, but higher temperatures do speed corrosion, and Anthony Swift, an energy analyst with the National Resources Defense Council, said governments both in Canada and the U.S. should take notice.

“There’s enough information out there about [the risks of] this stuff that merits a study,” he said. “The government should be protecting the public, and it’s a huge concern when they turn a blind eye to a potential danger.”

SOURCE: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/oil-sands-critics-target-a-new-concern-pipelines/article2116408/

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