Canadian report indicates diluted bitumen not corrosive to pipelines

A new report by Penspen Integrity, a division of the United Kingdom-based Penspen Limited, reveals diluted bitumen is no more corrosive than conventional crude. This should be positive news for pipeline operators, truck and rail transportation providers, and storage terminal operators.

Brenda Kenny, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), says she 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," she says. "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."

The Penspen report examined 40 studies addressing the behaviour of diluted bitumen and conventional crude. In these studies, which spanned more than 40 years, the research concluded that diluted bitumen is no more corrosive when compared to conventional crude oil.

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% of Canada's daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.

For a copy of the report, please visit: www.aboutpipelines.com.

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