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1 Introduction
Pages 4-9

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From page 4...
... oilprocessing market no longer has the capacity to refine all of the supply. Meanwhile, refineries on the Gulf Coast, which have traditionally processed South American and Mexican crude oils with properties similar to bitumen, have sought access to the heavy crude oils from Canada.
From page 5...
... to conduct the study documented in this report. Specifically, PHMSA asked NRC to convene a committee of experts in pipeline operations; risk analysis; safety regulation; and chemical, materials, and corrosion engineering to "analyze whether transportation of diluted bitumen by transmission pipeline has an increased likelihood of release compared with pipeline transportation of other crude oils." PHMSA did not ask NRC to study the consequences of potential pipeline releases of diluted bitumen.
From page 6...
... Should the committee conclude there is an increased likelihood of release on the basis of dilbit's effects on transmission pipelines and their operations, it will issue a brief Phase 1 report of its findings and then proceed to the sec ond phase of the project to determine whether hazardous liquids pipeline regulations are sufficient to mitigate the increased likelihood of release. The committee's final report following completion of this second phase will con tain the complete set of findings, conclusions, and recommendations of both project phases.
From page 7...
... It is recognized that the source and composition of bitumen shipments may change depending on technological advances, diluent supplies, refinery demands, and other technical and economic developments. Finally, the SOT asks the committee to examine whether pipelines transporting diluted bitumen have a higher likelihood of release than pipelines transporting "other crude oils." Accordingly, the aim of this study is to determine whether shipments of diluted bitumen have a release history or specific properties associated with pipeline failures that lie outside the range of experience and properties represented by the full spectrum of crude oils transported by pipeline in the United States.
From page 8...
... Such detailed information is important in determining the causative role of the crude oils being transported in the pipeline, particularly for failures arising from cumulative and time-dependent degradation mechanisms such as corrosion and cracking. Having identified the main causes of pipeline releases, the committee assessed each cause with respect to its potential to be affected by the chemical and physical properties of the transported crude oil.
From page 9...
... The committee then compared the relevant properties of diluted bitumen with the range of properties observed in other crude oils and looked for instances in which diluted bitumen fell outside or at an extreme end of the range. Recognizing the possibility that some pipeline operators may modify their operating and maintenance practices when they transport diluted bitumen, the committee asked operators about their procedures in transporting diluted bitumen and other crude oils.

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