TransCanada (TRP), which says Keystone XL will be the safest pipeline ever built, isn’t...

TransCanada (TRP), which says Keystone XL will be the safest pipeline ever built, isn’t planning to use infrared sensors or fiber-optic cables to detect spills along the system’s 2,000-mile path to Texas refineries from fields in Alberta, Bloomberg reports. The pipeline would have to be spilling more than 12K bbl/day before its currently planned internal spill-detection systems would trigger an alarm.
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Comments (6)
  • tuliptown
    , contributor
    Comments (1561) | Send Message
    pipelines eventually spill.


    the sad thing is a foreign conglomerate taking land away from folks who don't want to sell so they can pipe tar south when Canadians will not allow a pipeline to go across their NW territory.


    It should not be forced on folks. Let the free market determine where and if it goes through.
    18 Jun 2013, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • feedtheworld
    , contributor
    Comments (496) | Send Message
    they moved the pipeline once already. the people who's land it's on will get properly compensated. and most of the line goes through low populated land anyway.


    a large amount of the oil is now moved by rail (UNP). the us currently has 2.6 million miles of pipeline. getting this oil to Cushing and the gulf will reduce the price of crude oil.


    the Keystone XL Pipeline will also support the significant growth of crude oil production in the United States from producers in the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota


    In addition, the USA national security will have a steady supply of oil from a friendly nation and will buy less oil from the middle east.


    the oil needs to get to the gulf refineries so that we can send the oil to those middle states that pay a higher transportation costs.


    just build the darn thing and stop wasting time on trivial items.
    18 Jun 2013, 05:37 PM Reply Like
  • bobby44
    , contributor
    Comments (488) | Send Message
    12 kbpd?? I think your figure is off (high)


    If there is a need for other monitoring it can be demanded and built in.


    And 'NO' pipelines do not eventually leak.
    18 Jun 2013, 06:08 PM Reply Like
  • Hendershott
    , contributor
    Comments (1752) | Send Message
    60 -70 year old pipelines are leak prone. Trains have accidents. put in the new pipes. We might overwhelm the gasoline/diesel market and get some cheaper gasoline prices in the end.
    18 Jun 2013, 07:13 PM Reply Like
  • elys
    , contributor
    Comments (27) | Send Message
    With the explosion in the ETP line in 'rural' Louisiana, pro-environmentalists will be all over TRP. So much for hopes of rationality. Common sense just got a backslide.
    Theriots, Boudreaux's, and Jindal---what an internal joke.


    Why not laser detection? At 12,000 bbls before anything 'kicks in', why haven't the powers that be, put in drastic failsafes to warn of 'cracks', IF they want approval?
    19 Jun 2013, 06:11 AM Reply Like
  • AJVelt
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Let's begin with the actual area of the tar sands in Ft McMurray, Alberta, Canada. First, the tar sands are at such a level to the surface that it naturally seeps into the freshwater rivers and creeks in the area, which would be labeled as an environmental disaster if it didn't occur naturally. Second, it is extremely expensive to extract the oil from the sands and uses up a ton of natural gas in order for it to occur with estimates being $65-$70 per barrel to break even compared to much lower levels in traditional drilling methods.


    Currently, there is only one way to remove the oil and that is by rail (CNI is the leader, UNP is mostly in the Bakken). Compared to a pipeline, this is an expensive method, but doable (like the coal trains coming out of the Powder River Basin in Wyoming). Between the two, the risk of the pipeline leaking is less than the train wrecking. Testing with laser or fiber optics (which is also lasers) is far more expensive than what you think and not as reliable. Like everything else, laser strength decreases with distance and you can't wrap an entire pipeline with fiber optics. Currently, from what I understand, inspection and pressure checking are the only economically feasible method of testing pipelines, which is unfortunate. Oil will corrode a pipeline over time. The length of time is dependent upon materials of the pipeline, etc, but it will corrode. If it does burst, it will continue to leak even if the pumps were shut down the instant it was detected.


    Now, after the bitumen is extracted from the tar sands, it needs to be refined. It is crap when compared to the sweet crude that comes from west Texas or Saudi Arabia. I'm guessing that it is as bad, if not worse, than the oil coming from Venezuela. There are very few refineries that can handle this type of crude without having to go through a major overhaul. Most are in southern Louisiana which, I assume, are the same ones that handle the Venezuela crude. For the pipeline method, in order for the oil to reach these southern Louisiana refineries it actually needs to be cut with the lighter crude coming out of the Bakken to lower its viscosity. Bakken crude can be refined in the refineries in Montana and Wyoming just fine so the trip down to Louisiana is a waste.


    The southern Keystone XL pipeline is currently being built from Oklahoma to Louisiana. Since it is contained in the US, this does not need State Department approval. The issue is from the Canadian border to Oklahoma, which must gain the approval of the State Department since it involves foreign trade.


    There are significantly more costs and risks for the Canadians to create a pipeline to the west coast of British Columbia. Sorry to say, but if the pipeline were to burst in their proposed route through the US, it would be far less environmentally costly than through British Columbia. They would have to build this proposed pipeline through considerably more rugged terrain as well as a terminal on the coast.


    The commodity markets control the cost of oil. These same markets also separately control the price of gasoline. Having cheaper oil does not necessarily mean cheaper gasoline. Where refineries get their oil depends on the sellers of the oil on these exchanges. In other words, if it is cheaper to buy the oil from Saudi Arabia than the oil from Canada, which one do you think they will buy from? If there were a disruption in transporting crude from the Middle East, having Keystone XL would be a huge benefit, but don't assume the price of oil will stay the same. It would skyrocket regardless where it comes from.


    Regardless of the method, as long as it is economically feasible, the oil from the tar sands will be extracted and transported. The method and risk (as well as who strategically controls the delivery) is where the question remains. The threat of global warming will not change this. The only way to stop the extraction from the tar sands is to get the price of oil below the cost by completely disrupting the user demand. If those "environmentalist" truly want to quell the tar sands, demand that gasoline taxes increase so that prices jump to $6/gallon.


    I can see the advantage of the pipeline over rail. I don't see many disadvantages. Like I said, the oil will come out of the ground if the demand supports it.
    19 Jun 2013, 03:14 PM Reply Like
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