One Group’s Strategy to Derail Oil Pipelines, Raise Energy Prices

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by herm, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    Several points about methane from livestock: cows are evolved to eat grass, and when we feed them corn and soy, it makes them sick and they get indigestion. So, if they ate grass as they should (which makes better tasting and healthier meat for us), then they would not be producing so much methane.

    Secondly, the carbon that livestock emit comes from the plants, and the plants got it from the atmosphere - so it doesn't change the overall balance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    What *does* add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is the fuel that is burned all through the process of factory farming. And a *lot* of nitrous oxide (another very powerful greenhouse gas) comes from the chemical nitrogen fertilizer that we use - that is made from natural gas, so it affects climate change that way, too.

    Do you know what creature produces the most methane from its digestion? The answer is termites. But, they eat wood and the plants got the carbon from the air, so again it doesn't change the balance of carbon dioxide in the air.

    Anthropogenic climate change is real, and it is critical that we humans slow down burning fossil fuels - and if we slow down enough, then we will slow down the rate that the climate warms; and limits the worst effects.

    Here are some facts about climate change:

    Here's the first of three programs (that are linked to on this page) all about climate change and how we need to respond:
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
  2. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

  3. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Do you have any links that are not so obviously biased?.. I would think you can clean it up the same way its extracted from dirt in the first place.. by washing it off with hot water.
  4. basjoos

    basjoos Well-Known Member

    Horses are hindgut fermenters. They do their anaerobic fermentation to breakdown cellulose in their caecum (a chamber at the head of the large intestine) and large intestine. So the methane they produce comes out the back end. They absorb some of the nutritive products of this fermentation, but much of it goes out the back (which is why horse manure is better than cow manure for composting). Ruminants are much more efficient at digesting cellulose since they feed their fermentation product into their small intestine where more of it gets absorbed.

    The main drawback to having a rumen is its large bulky paunch makes for an inflexible body which is why equids are better fighters against predators. Ruminants can only ram and gore, whereas the more flexible equid can kick and rear to flail its hooves. Because of their increased cellulose digestive efficiency, equids have been slowly losing out to ruminants in the evolutionary competition on the grasslands.

    Rabbits are hindgut fermenters, but give it an interesting twist to improve its efficiency. Their food makes two passes through their digestive system. They "lay" two types of rabbit raisins, one is the type you see out in the field, the other is a special type of pellot they consume to send their fermentation product back through their digestive system so they can extract all of the "goodness" out of it before leaving it behind.
  5. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Neat stuff.. interesting how cows kill their intestinal flora by increasing the acidity in a part of their gut and then digesting the dead bacteria/fungi to get most of their protein needs.. nothing gets wasted!.

    BTW cow rumen (what I think is rumen, paunch?, distinctive hexagonal pattern*) is a very tasty dish.

    * panza in Spanish
  6. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

  7. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

  8. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Ok I must admit I dont automatically watch videos, I can read/write much faster and usually get more information and less emotion.. not too keen about emotion in debates, poor way to settle issues but thats just the way I'm wired.

    First video.. black stuff running down the drainage gutters, smells bad... hellooo an oil pipeline just ruptured!.. its valuable black goo. You should not site developments over pipelines or old indian burial grounds.

    2nd Video.. lots of people hard at work containing an oil spill at a river/swamp, lots of bacteria greedily consuming all that tar after the toxic diluent evaporates away. I got exactly the opposite reaction to watching those videos that you got, thats why they are a poor way to debate. Its just emotional stuff.

    I really hate this modern trend of debate by video.. its very widespread and useless except to those unfortunate ones that cant read.

    Every issue has two sides.. have you seen any links that espouse an opposite view? (no big deal, we will clean it up etc... not gloom&doom end of the world stuff)
  9. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Honeycomb tripe is actually the second stomach or reticulum.
  10. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    The first link I posted had plenty of text to read, but somehow you immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was biased. And raw footage is not dense enough information for you. Google Enbridge spill in Michigan and the Kalamazoo River, and the Yellowstone River spill, and the Mayflower AK Exxon spill.

    The Michigan spill that happened in 2010 is still not cleaned up. It is acidic and nasty, and it is toxic and carcinogenic. You poo pooh the dangers - but they have had to evacuate people from their homes? Their ground water is poisoned and their property is badly damaged.

    Are you betraying your personal bias?
  11. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Was that the links about global warming?, do they have anything on the danger of the bitumen spill?
  12. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    "Fuelled by grim images of oil-soaked birds and thick, Alberta oil-sands crude pooling in backyards after a pipeline ruptured in Arkansas, anti-Keystone XL activists have redoubled their efforts to persuade President Barack Obama to nix the controversial project to funnel Canadian oil to Texas refineries.

    Meanwhile, it emerged that Exxon Mobil had reversed the flow in the aging pipeline a few years ago. Pegasus is now used to ship thick, oil-sands crude south to Texas from Illinois. Originally the pipeline moved lighter oil north from the Gulf to the Midwest.

    Exxon Mobil was ordered, by the U.S. pipeline safety agency, not to attempt to restart the ruptured Pegasus line, which was sending about 90,000 barrels a day – roughly one-tenth the capacity of the proposed Keystone XL line – when it failed.

    “Continued operation of the Pegasus pipeline without corrective measures would be hazardous to life, property, and the environment,” Jeffrey Wiese, associate administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, said in a written order issued Wednesday.

    Exxon Mobil’s decision to reverse the Pegasus flow, pumping much thicker and – some claim – far more corrosive crude oil at higher pressures, is expected to get close scrutiny from federal investigators.

    In Mayflower, the messy, laborious, cleanup continued. At least 12,000 barrels – roughly equivalent to 15 rail tank car loads – of oil and contaminated water have already been recovered, although the amount of oil that actually spewed form the ruptured line may be less than half of that amount. Still, a break in a pipeline of Keystone’s capacity would leak up to 5,700 barrels a minute.

    “If Americans needed a reminder of the serious environmental risks posed by the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, they got it last week with the oil spill in Mayflower,” the Baltimore Sun said yesterday in an editorial urging the President to reject the Canadian pipeline. And it raised a little-considered argument that giving Alberta’s oil sands crude a valuable route to tidewater ports would end the current big discounts that are clipping more than nickel a litre off gasoline prices for motorists in the U.S. Midwest.

    “The lack of a Keystone XL pipeline today has helped create a glut of oil in North America that’s benefited much of the middle of the country,” The Sun said. “Images of Arkansas waterfowl covered in thick crude may not pull at the heartstrings of pro-Keystone members of Congress, but the practical implications of enabling Canada to sell its oil to other countries and worsening climate change ought to get everyone’s attention.” "
  13. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    warning: link is heavy with oil soaked ducks.. thank god no oil soaked dogs or we would be all up in arms

    As Think Progress has just reported, a bizarre technicality allowed Exxon Mobil to avoid paying into the federal oil spill fund responsible for cleanup after the company's Pegasus pipeline released 12,000 barrels of tar sands oil and water into the town of Mayflower, Arkansas.

    According to a thirty-year-old law in the US, diluted bitumen coming from the Alberta tar sands is not classified as oil, meaning pipeline operators planning to transport the corrosive substance across the US - with proposed pipelines like the Keystone XL - are exempt from paying into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

    News that Exxon was spared from contributing the 8-cents-per-barrel fee to the clean-up fund added insult to injury this week as cleanup crews discovered oil-soaked ducks covered in "low-quality Wabasca Heavy Crude from Alberta." Yesterday officials said 10 live ducks were found covered in oil, as well as a number of oiled ducks already deceased.

    Faulkner Country Judge Allen Dodson said "I'm an animal lover, a wildlife lover, as probably most of the people here are. We don't like to see that. No one does."

    He added, "Crude oil is crude oil. None of it is real good to touch."

    The Exxon spill leaked 80,000 gallons of oil into an Arkansas residential area, causing the evacuation of 22 homes. This weekend Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. president Gary Pruessing told displaced homeowners, "If you have been harmed by this spill then we're going to look at how to make that right."

    According to InsideClimate News, Exxon is currently preventing the media from accessing the spill scene. Today the Arkansas Attourney General announced an investigation into the cause of the 60-plus-year-old pipeline's rupture.

    The Pegasus pipeline was originally built in the 1940s and was recently dormant for four years before its flow was reversed to carry Alberta diluted bitumen from Illinois to the Gulf Coast. In 2006, Exxon called the line's reversal a win-win for the people of the Gulf Coast and Canada.

    The revelation that companies transporting diluted bitumen in the US have some concerned about pre-existing pipelines, as well as the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that will transport the tar sands-derived oil across a number of ecologically sensitive areas.

  14. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    no soaked ducks in this one.. why do the bury oil pipelines?.. they must be hard to inspect that way.

    Average 250 Pipeline Accidents Each Year, Billions Spent on Property Damage

    Unfortunately for pipeline proponents, last week’s pipeline rupture in Arkansas is no anomaly in the history of US pipelines. In fact, pipelines have made a pretty consistent mess throughout the States for the last 20 years. One thing has changed, however: those messes are getting more expensive to clean up.

    The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is responsible for reporting and recording all “significant pipeline incidents” which are all incidents exceeding the cost of $50,000 (in 1984 dollars).

    In terms of property damage PHMSA records indicate that the 20-year average (1993-2012) cost of significant pipeline incidents is over 318 million dollars, the 10-year average (2003-2012) cost is over 494 million dollars the 5-year average (2008-2012) cost is over 545 million dollars and the 3-year average (2010-2012) cost is over 662 million dollars.

    The cost of cleaning up after pipelines just keeps getting more expensive.

    Over the last 20 years, pipeline incidents have caused over $6.3 billion in property damages. On average during this time period there were more than 250 pipeline incidents per year, without a single year where that number dropped below 220. During that time, more than 2.5 million barrels of hazardous liquids were spilled and little more than half of those spilled amounts were recovered in cleanup efforts.

    NPR reports “more than half of the nation’s pipelines were built before 1970. More than 2.5 million miles of pipelines run underground throughout the country.”

  15. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    another article on the problems of transporting bitumen, its good

    First, you need to understand what -- physically and chemically -- tar sands actually is. According to the Bureau of Land Managment, tar sands

    ...are a combination of clay, sand, water, and bitumen, a heavy black viscous oil. Tar sands can be mined and processed to extract the oil-rich bitumen, which is then refined into oil. The bitumen in tar sands cannot be pumped from the ground in its natural state; instead tar sand deposits are mined, usually using strip mining or open pit techniques, or the oil is extracted by underground heating with additional upgrading.
    Once upon a time, the tar sands oil that flowed through North American pipelines was in the form of a synthetic crude. In other words, the sticky, viscous tar sands bitumin was upgraded to a more free-flowing form of crude before entering the pipes. But recently, the industry has found it cheaper and easier -- if not as safe or stable -- to dilute the bitumen with liquid natural gas, creating a substance called diluted bitumen, or "DilBit."

    A joint report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Pipeline Safety Trust, the National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, released in February, spotlights the specific hazards of pipelines carrying this tar sands "DilBit."

    The report describes DilBit as "a highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable blend of thick raw bitumen and volatile natural gas liquid condensate."

    Testifying this past Tuesday in front of the House Energy and Commerce's Energy and Power Subcommittee, NRDC expert Anthony Swift laid out the specific risk of this DilBit to the pipelines themselves:

    By itself, bitumen is virtually solid at room temperature - to move it through a pipeline, producers must diluted it with light, highly volatile natural gas liquids. The thick, abrasive mixture, called diluted bitumen, is then pumped through pipelines at high pressure - generating enough friction to reach temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Besides the heat, both Swift's testimony (PDF) and the joint pipeline report warn that DilBit has higher sulfur and chloride salt contents, both of which can lead to corrosion and cracking. There's also high levels of quartz, rutile, and pyrite particles, all of which are highly abrasive. The "Tar Sands Pipeline Safety Risks" report specifies that diluted bitumen:

    is more acidic, thick, and sulfuric than conventional crude oil;
    is up to seventry times more viscous than concentional crudes;
    contains fifteen to twenty times higher acid concentrations than conventional crudes and five to ten times as much sulfur as conventional crudes, and that "the additional sulfur can lead to the weakening or embrittlement of pipelines."
    What's more, due to an unfortunate quirk of DilBit's chemical composition, underground leaks can be much more difficult for monitors to detect. (If you're curious about the finer points of this chemistry, check out the joint Tar Sands Pipeline Safety Risks report (PDF).)

    So enough with the unfortunate chemistry of DilBit; we also have some empirical evidence to look at. With even a relatively short history, there are already plenty of spills and leaks involving DilBit, many of which have been covered here on DeSmogBlog.

    The Keystone I pipeline (the first in TransCanada's Keystone system that could eventually include Keystone XL) has infamously spilled 12 times in under a year of operation. (This despite assurances from the company that leaks would occur from Keystone only "once every seven years.")

    A May breach at a North Dakota pumping station spewed over 500 barrels, like a geyser, into the air. Local landowner Bob Banderet noted the discrepancy between TransCanada's predictions and the reality: "They said this couldn't happen," Banderet said. "It's a once in a thousand year occurence, and here it is right in front of you."

    There's more. In 2006, corrosion in Alberta's Rainbow pipeline caused over 343,000 gallons of oil to leak near Slave Lake, as Emma Pullman reported earlier here. Almost exactly a year ago this week, roughly 800,000 gallons of DilBut spilled into the Kalamazoo River in Western Michigan from a pipeline owned by the Canadian company Enbridge. In fact, in 2010, Enbridge's Lakehead system spilled over a dozen times, accounting for more than half of all crude spilled in the United States last year.

    Even that recent, awful Exxon Mobil spill that spoiled the "last great river," the Yellowstone River, has ties to tar sands. Exxon Mobil officials admitted earlier this month that the Silvertip pipeline "routinely transported" tar sands oil.

    Finally, after the tar sands oil does inevitably spill, cleanup is a heck of a lot harder than normal crude spills. There's proof in Western Michigan. Reporter Kari Lydersen traveled to Marshall, Michigan to report on cleanup efforts a year later that Enbridge spill. Her report for OnEarth is sobering:

    When that combination, known as DilBit, spilled out of the ruptured pipeline, the benzene and other chemicals in the mixture went airborne, forcing mandatory evacuations of surrounding homes (many of which were later bought by Enbridge because their owners couldn't safely return), while the thick, heavy bitumen sank into the water column and coated the river and lake bottom, mixing with sediment and suffocating bottom-dwelling plants, animals, and micro-organisms.

    Surface skimmers and vacuums were no help, and a full year later, EPA officials and scientists are still working on a plan to remove submerged oil from about 200 acres of river and lake bottom. EPA officials had given Enbridge an August 31 deadline to get all the oil out, but they now say a full cleanup could take years. "Where we thought we might be winding down our piece of the response, we're actually ramping back up," said Mark Durno, one of EPA's on-scene coordinators. "The submerged oil is a real story -- it's a real eye-opener. ... In larger spills we've dealt with before, we haven't seen nearly this footprint of submerged oil, if we've seen any at all."
  16. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    I know we-USA- would like to make some $$ on this gunk
    But why not process it a bit onsite??
    The molecules are big?? I assume so it isn't as simple as separating out the lighter-more valuable molecules-since there aren't many/much
    Until they actually break-fracture-the big molecules-into smaller ones?
    But why not process it where it is mined?
    Why pump this low value gunk 1500-2000 miles?
    Turn it into high value liquid- then ship it?
    Refineries that expensive?
    $1,000,000,000 right? Doesn't seem that much if this deposit is as big as claimed?
    Granted once it is played out-it will be useless.
    Aren't there any half measure refineries-like sugar refineries?
    Some convert cane juice to raw sugar-others convert that it white sugar?
    No oil refinery equivalent??
    Doesn't make sense to pump thick abrasive gunk 2000 miles.
  17. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    a recent project in Alberta to upgrade the tar locally to synthetic crude just went belly up.. so far transporting it by rail sounds like a good way to do it.. dont dilute it and just transport it as a solid chunk in heated cars, that way if it derails the spill wont go too far. There are two FT articles on exploding train usage to transport bitumen, but I cant find my password.

    1. Oil traffic surge strains US trains

    2. Biggest US rails to invest $450m in crude
  18. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Why belly up?
    Yeah-maybe rail makes sense.
    A pipeline-is useless once it is played out-
    and maintaining one pumping abrasive gunk-sounds expensive.
    Better to just pay the higher freight cost-since upfront cost is ZERO-railroads already built-
    Yeah-pipeline+ right of way+ pissing people off- expensive!!
    Where is the forum member who claimed "they could produce H2 and CH4 underground-in the deposite"-yeah our H2 is here member??
    The one who was always slamming the VOLT-suggesting that it should have been a fuel cell electric-running on H2-forget his handle?? Battery pack was super expensive low range dead weight??
    And BP electrics would never amount to much-range cost etc.Same story on pure BP electrics-Leaf etc.
    So where is he??
  19. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

  20. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    low cost local upgrading

    Ceramatec licensing molten sodium technology for heavy oil upgrading; removing the need for diluent for bitumen

    "An innovative oil-upgrading technology that can increase the economics of unconventional petroleum resources has been developed under a US Department of Energy-funded project. The technology, developed by Ceramatec and managed by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), has been licensed to Western Hydrogen of Calgary for upgrading bitumen or heavy oil from Canada. A new company, Field Upgrading (Calgary, Alberta), has been formed dedicated to developing and commercializing the Molten Sodium Upgrading (MSU) technology.

    The MSU process involves mixing elemental molten sodium and small quantities of hydrogen or methane to reduce significantly the levels of sulphur, metals, TAN (total acid number) and asphaltenes in heavy oil feedstocks, including oil sands bitumen. MSU also significantly increases the API gravity of the feedstocks while achieving a relatively higher yield compared to conventional upgrading technologies. In the case of oil sands bitumen, the API gravity is increased from 8 API to more than 20 API, eliminating the need for diluent for pipeline transportation."

Share This Page