Pipeline proposal reckless

reader offers his opinion on the proposed Enbridge pipeline


The Northern Gateway pipelines and the proposed refinery in Kitimat seem inefficient and reckless.

The main pipeline will pump about 375 thousand barrels of dense bitumen mud every day diluted in 145 thousand barrels of natural gas condensate.

The condensate pipeline will return the 145 thousand barrels of condensate every day.

So, every day 375 thousand barrels of bitumen will be piped and shipped and 290 thousand barrels of condensate (=2 x 145) will be piped and shipped.

This extra 290 thousand barrels of condensate each day doubles the risk of a toxic spill and will use huge amounts of energy to pipe and ship.

At the end of the line in Kitimat, David Black plans to refine the Bitumen into high quality crude.

Wouldn’t it be much safer and cheaper and better for the economy to refine the bitumen in Alberta then pipe high quality oil to the coast – eliminating all the risk of spilling condensate in the process?

Also, despite all the Enbridge controversy, foreign owned Kinder Morgan is going almost unquestioned with its plans to expand their similar Tran Mountain Pipeline through Vancouver.

If that route is so much safer, maybe Enbridge should pipe their oil to Vancouver too.

Along with double-hulled oil tankers, liners should also be required around the pipelines to contain any spill.

Oil companies are heavily subsidized paying less than $8 barrel for royalties and selling the oil for well over $90/barrel, so  they can obviously more than afford to pay for a safe efficient pipeline.

With 804 Enbridge pipeline spills between 1999 and 2010, and Kinder Morgan having a similar record, any obvious safety improvements should be in the plan before the projects are seriously considered.

Graham Gerry


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