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  • The corrosion question largely surrounds the properties of diluted bitumen, also called "dilbit."

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  • "One of the big problems is that there is very little information focused on dilbit," Natural Resources Defense Council NRDC attorney Anthony Swift said in an interview.

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  • But in dilbit, the sulphur is locked up with heavy oil molecules.

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  • If there's less processing on dilbit, there may be some other harmful things in it. ...

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  • And environmental critics say that with the expansion in the oil sands, more study needs to be done of the effects dilbit has on pipelines.

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  • Their conclusion was that on dilbit pipelines, "corrosion abnormalities are occurring faster than companies are able to correct them," he said, citing PHMSA warnings of 250 abnormalities and an inability to manage corrosion along an oil sands line that last year spilled an estimated 800,000 gallons of crude in Marshall, Mich.

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  • The small percentage of sediment permitted to remain in that fuel is one of many characteristics unique to diluted bitumen, or dilbit, that worry environmentalists.

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  • Because regulators at the ERCB, Canada's National Energy Board NEB and the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration do not specifically examine the effects of dilbit relative to synthetic or conventional crude, greens have had to compile whatever data is available from industry and governmental sources, Swift added.

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  • These variegated forms of dilbit can pose unforeseen chemical challenges, such as the potential to sink in water if spilled, according to greens, safety advocates and others wary of their effects on U.S. pipelines.

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  • To decrease its viscosity and pipe the sludge-like bitumen to markets, the pipeline companies add chemical diluents, creating diluted bitumen, or "dilbit."

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  • Seen on the Colbert Report - dilbit is Diluted Bitumen.

    May 22, 2013

  • In Canada, petroleum products have been extracted from "oil sands" or "tar sands." . . .

    The oil sands yield bitumen, a highly viscous form of petroleum that is produced by surface mining or by in situ recovery. Surface mining is preferred for deposits within 75 m of the surface. In situ recovery, in which steam is injected to mobilize bitumen underground, is used for deeper deposits . . .

    After separation from the host rock, bitumen is modified for transport. Commonly, it is combined with lower-density hydrocarbon mixtures (condensates, synthetic crude, or a mixture of both) to obtain a product with an acceptable viscosity and density for transport to refineries via pipeline. This engineered fluid is referred to as diluted bitumen. Common names refer to subtypes (e.g., dilbit, synbit, railbit, and dilsynbit) but, for simplicity, the term diluted bitumen as used in this report encompasses all bitumen blends that have been mixed with lighter products.

    Comm. on the Effects of Diluted Bitumen on the Environment, Nat'l Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Spills of Diluted Bitumen from Pipelines: A Comparative Study of Environmental Fate, Effects, and Response (2016), pp. 11-12 (emphasis added).

    March 15, 2016