An education on bitumen

Re: “Pro Liberal groups only telling partial truth”, (Citizen, Feb. 17)

Re: “Pro Liberal groups only telling partial truth”, (Citizen, Feb. 17)

Regarding Fridays letter, I actually like the “Say Anything John” campaign from the Future Prosperity BC organization. It’s quite clever and very accurate, as far as I can see, especially the anti-KM pipeline comment.

As for the writer, he is the one that appears to have some trouble with the truth. The comment about “bitumen” reveals his total lack of knowledge about the topic.

Bitumen is a product of the oil sands deposits in Alberta and has been around for over half a century. It is only piped to market as “dilbit”, which is virtually identical to other heavy crude oils produced in several other countries.

Several independent studies have been published over the years, and all of them prove that the product is no more corrosive, or toxic, or “noxious” than any other heavy crude.

Pronouncing that dilbit sinks and cannot be cleaned up, is another common fallacy that is spread by the activist agenda. In fact, according to the EPA, it is a Class 3 oil with a density of .8 to .95 and therefore floats. Class 5 crudes are greater than 1, and will sink.

This information is not a secret and very easy to find. Some suggestions:

NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers), API (American Petroleum Institute), Alberta Innovates, PenSpen UK, Natural Resources Canada, and National Academy of Sciences (U.S.).

Another excellent source for those non-technical people that are truly interested in the technology of the industry is the website A Chemist in Langley.

There have been a few bogus studies by the radical environmental agenda which have no veracity whatsoever. If you find one sponsored by Tides, Sierra Club, or Greenpeace, you will only find lies and hysteria.

The following is an excerpt from the TSB (Transportation Safety Board):

National Research Council Special Report 311: Effect of Diluted Bitumen on Crude Oil Transmission Pipelines 2013

Central Findings

The committee does not find any causes of pipeline failure unique to the transportation of diluted bitumen. Furthermore, the committee does not find evidence of chemical or physical properties of diluted bitumen that are outside the range of other crude oils or any other aspect of its transportation by transmission pipeline that would make diluted bitumen more likely than other crude oils to cause releases.

Specific Findings:

Diluted bitumen does not have unique or extreme properties that make it more likely than other crude oils to cause internal damage to transmission pipelines from corrosion or erosion.

Diluted bitumen does not have properties that make it more likely than other crude oils to cause damage to transmission pipelines from external corrosion and cracking or from mechanical forces.

Pipeline O&M practices are the same for shipments of diluted bitumen as for shipments of other crude oils.

So next time you hear someone make ridiculous remarks about the transportation of our valuable resource, please find out a little about it before accepting it as the truth.

Alternatively, you might want to ask John Horgan what he says about the topic…depending of course on who his audience is at the time.

R. Hailey



Cowichan Valley Citizen