Environmental Response in a New Crude Landscape

This article discussed how the nation has experienced an increase in unconventional petroleum product transportation over the last five years. One of these products, known as diluted bitumen or dilbit, is created by blending the dense and viscous bitumen found in Canadian oil sands with lighter hydrocarbon products known as diluents. The bitumen’s density and viscosity is reduced, which allowed it to flow in transport, and this has added complexity to potential spills, compared to more conventional crude oils. Because there has only been two major dilbit spills in North American waters, both attributed to pipelines. information is limited. One of these spills occurred in the brackish water of Burrard Inlet, Burnaby, British Columbia, and resulted in a discharge of about 59,000 gallons. The other occurred near Marshall, Michigan, where more than 840,000 gallons was spilled into a creek that led to the Kalamazoo River. Compared to conventional crude oil, diluted bitumen has increased airborne hazards, and an increased probability of sinking.


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  • Accession Number: 01609392
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 30 2016 10:04AM