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Keystone XL crude not more prone to cause pipe failure

Jul 01, 2013 | 10:26 AM |

Tags  Keystone XL, diluted bitumen, National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, TransCanada, Vern Meier, Thorsten Schier

NEW YORK — Diluted bitumen is no more likely to cause pipeline failures than other types of crude oils, according to a report from the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

"The (council’s expert) committee did not find any causes of pipeline failure unique to the transport of diluted bitumen," the academies said.

Diluted bitumen is the form of crude that would be transported from western Canada in TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

"The public has been bombarded with misinformation about the oil that will go through Keystone XL, but this latest study by the highly credible National Academy of Sciences has confirmed that oil is oil and the pipelines we build will safely move different blends, as the industry has been doing for decades," Vern Meier, vice president of pipeline safety and compliance for Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada, said in a statement.

The study did not investigate whether diluted bitumen would be more harmful in the case of a spill, the academies said.

President Obama said that Keystone XL’s environmental impact—specifically regarding carbon emissions—would be taken into consideration during its approval process (, June 26).

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