Letters: Facts on pipeline

A response from Canadian Energy Pipeline Assoc. to awareness video

Yesterday, an article appeared online which was titled “Awareness video tracks pipeline, talks to people,” by Sooke News Mirror. We would like the opportunity to respond to this article based on the facts.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 110,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2011, our member companies moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

In the article, it states that diluted bitumen, or dilbit, is “more caustic to pipelines and much more difficult and expensive to clean up than conventional spills.” This is not true. Our pipeline operators transport a range of petroleum products and have done so for years, including transporting diluted bitumen from the oil sands area of Alberta. Based on an independent study completed by Alberta Innovates, there is no evidence to suggest that pipelines carrying diluted bitumen are more dangerous or corrosive than other types of petroleum products.

The article also suggests that emergency response plans are not developed to address diluted bitumen. Our member companies have emergency response plans that take into account different product characteristics. These plans are activated as soon as the pipeline operator becomes aware of the situation. They are also reviewed regularly by the regulators to ensure they meet regulatory requirements.

We hope that this letter helps clarify some of the misinformation reported in your article. If you need further information on transporting diluted bitumen in pipelines or emergency response, we have fact sheets available on our website at www.aboutpipelines.com.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 403 221 8778 or via email at preicher@cepa.com.

Philippe Reicher

Vice President,

Canadian Energy Pipeline Association