A report published on February 25 by a division of the UK-based Penspen engineering firm reveals diluted bitumen is no more corrosive than conventional crude.
Brenda Kenny, President and CEO, of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), is pleased with the results of the report, which finally dispels the myth that industry critics have been spreading regarding the transportation of diluted bitumen.
“We have always known, based on scientific facts and our pipelines operational histories, that diluted bitumen is no more corrosive than conventional crude,” Kenny said. “Now, this manufactured myth can stop and Canadians can be further assured that our pipelines are safe regardless of the type of product they carry.”
According to CEPA, the report examined 40 studies addressing the behavior of diluted bitumen and conventional crude. In these studies, which spanned over 40 years, the research concluded that diluted bitumen is no more corrosive when compared to conventional crude oil.
“It is important to have scientific evidence in front of Canadians, so they can make their own informed decisions, and not rely on misinformation”, Kenny said.
The report also showed that tests were carried out using internationally recognized standards, which found that small differences in some components of the product did not increase the chances of corrosion developing in oil transmission pipelines. In addition, monitoring and preventative maintenance programs used by transmission pipeline operators on conventional crude oil pipelines were equally as effective on pipelines containing diluted bitumen.
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 110,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2011, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. CEPA members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.