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Diluted bitumen has been transported by pipeline in the United States for more than 40 years, with the amount increasing recently as a result of improved extraction technologies and resulting increases in production and exportation of Canadian diluted bitumen. The increased importation of Canadian diluted bitumen to the United States has strained the existing pipeline capacity and contributed to the expansion of pipeline mileage over the past 5 years. Although rising North American crude oil production has resulted in greater transport of crude oil by rail or tanker, oil pipelines continue to deliver the vast majority of crude oil supplies to U.S. refineries.

Spills of Diluted Bitumen from Pipelines examines the current state of knowledge and identifies the relevant properties and characteristics of the transport, fate, and effects of diluted bitumen and commonly transported crude oils when spilled in the environment. This report assesses whether the differences between properties of diluted bitumen and those of other commonly transported crude oils warrant modifications to the regulations governing spill response plans and cleanup. Given the nature of pipeline operations, response planning, and the oil industry, the recommendations outlined in this study are broadly applicable to other modes of transportation as well.

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Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Spills of Diluted Bitumen from Pipelines: A Comparative Study of Environmental Fate, Effects, and Response. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/21834.

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Publication Info

166 pages | 6 x 9 | 

ISBNs: 
  • Paperback:  978-0-309-38010-2
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-38013-3
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/21834

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