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View Diary: Tar sands oil spill? Or just 'heavy' oil spill? Exxon loves having it both ways (80 comments)

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  •  An amazing tour de force of corporate cynicism (1+ / 0-)
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    radical simplicity

    Originally all tar sands bitumen was supposed to be upgraded/refined to syncrude(SCO), which is basically light sweet crude.
    Then Enbridge discovered that by diluting it with natural gas liquids(NGL) or other pumpable oil they didn't need to upgrade it in Canada and could pump that goo all the way to the Mother of All Refineries in the US Gulf.
    That way they didn't have to build any new bitumen upgrading refineries at all.

    If you don't upgrade to SCO you aren't removing the
    sulfur and toxic metals which are sent south to US refineries to deal with. Also the diluted bitumen is
    likely still more viscous than light sweet oil they were designed for which means higher pressures on the pipes.
    But you can always put on a bigger pump, right?

    It really is quite  diabolical and instructive!

    Now the US's thousands of miles of aging, rusting oil pipelines are pumping
    Canada's unpumpable to Gulf refineries for cleaning and of course export to Europe,Asia, etc.

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