TV News LIES

Monday, Jul 28th

Last update07:11:02 PM GMT

You are here News Environment Crude, Dirty and Dangerous: Diluted Bitumen

Crude, Dirty and Dangerous: Diluted Bitumen

E-mail Print PDF

DilbitEvery day more than one million barrels of oil flow to refineries in the United States from western Canada’s oil sands region. Producers hope to quadruple that amount in the next decade, arguing that oil from a friendly neighbor will deliver an extra degree of national security.

But this oil is no ordinary crude oil, and it carries with it risks that we’re only beginning to understand. Its core ingredient — bitumen — is not pumped from wells but is strip-mined or boiled loose underground.

Industry insiders long considered bitumen to be a “garbage” crude. But now that the light, sweet oil we covet has become more scarce and its price has skyrocketed, bitumen has become worth the trouble to recover. At room temperature, bitumen has the consistency of peanut butter, thick enough to hold in your hands. To get it through pipelines, liquid chemicals must be added to thin it into what’s known as dilbit, short for diluted bitumen.

Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a report that was harshly critical of the federal government’s regulation and oversight of pipeline safety following a spill of more than one million gallons of dilbit into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in 2010. The accident underscored not only how different dilbit is from conventional oil, but how unprepared we are for the impending flood of imports.

After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts. The heavy bitumen sank to the river bottom, leaving a mess that is still being cleaned up. Meanwhile, the chemical additives evaporated, creating a foul smell that lingered for days. People reported headaches, dizziness and nausea. No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.

More...


Most Recent Related Stories...


UK to accept bids for oil and gas exploration after fracking caused earthquakes

UK to allow frackingThe British government said Monday that energy companies will be able to bid for licenses to...

Fire teams battle two fast-moving California blazes

Fires in CaliforniaFire crews are battling two fast-moving wildfires in California that threatened many homes and forced hundreds...

Coal-exporting town of Norfolk, Va. fights rising seas

Norfolk rising seaNorfolk is trapped between the causes and consequences of global warming.The region exports more coal —...

EPA fails to address methane leaks from gas pipelines -watchdog

methane leaking from pipelinesThe internal watchdog of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday that the regulator does...
 
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
TVNL Tee Shirt
 
TVNL TOTE BAG
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support TvNewsLIES.org!
 
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!