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The Big Push: Putting Tar Sands Through Old Oil Pipelines

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 10:47




The above image shows a stress corrosion crack in carbon steel manufactured in 1973. (Photo: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration)On its website, TransCanada touts a near-spotless spill record from 2002 to 2011 for its oil pipelines.

However, the company wasn’t always perfect. One of its natural gas pipes ruptured 18 years ago near Rapid City, Manitoba. While that rupture and an ensuing blaze did not garner much media attention at the time, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, which examined the pipeline, reported that “external stress corrosion cracking” caused the break.

TransCanada now wants to convert the same pipeline to carry 1.1 million barrels a day of viscous, highly corrosive tar-sands crude at high pressure as part of its Energy East Pipeline across six Canadian provinces, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has been tracking the oil company’s proposal, and TransCanada documents detailing the project.

Farther south in New England, ExxonMobil and Enbridge Inc. have plans to pipe tar sands crude through a pipeline originally constructed in 1950 to transport conventional oil.

For the rest of this important story please click the link to Truth Out: http://truth-out.org/news/item/19175-the-big-push-putting-tar-sands-through-old-oil-pipelines

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