The old DOT-111 rail cars carry about 700 barrels of oil but because of safety concerns they are being phased out for newer, safer DOT-117 oil rail cars which can carry about 675 barrels of oil. We will use 700 barrels as a round number to form a basis of Read more…
In a word, yes. While conventional oil production in Alberta has been at the same level for years, Alberta’s oil sands have hit yet another production record and the oil will move one way or another. As you can see in the chart below, Canada is out of pipeline capacity Read more…
Canada imports about 1 BILLION barrels of oil per year, nearly all into Quebec and Ontario in-spite of the fact that it exports 3.1 Billion barrels of oil per year. These are the specific numbers taken directly from the Canadian Federal Government from 2016: Canadian production: 3.9 MMb/d Imports: 0.9 MMb/d Read more…
Most Canadians think that they are getting their gasoline from Alberta and Texas, but that is just not the case. This 2016 graphic from Statistics Canada shows where Canada really gets its oil from:
Having worked at a few pipeline companies, I know they take safety and spills very seriously but we see pipeline bursts and their resulting spills with frequency in the news so the question lingers: Are pipelines safe?
Let’s start by stating an obvious fact that no-one WANTS a pipeline or any other serious infrastructure (power lines, rail lines, highways…) in their back yard but without such infrastructure our modern world would grind to a halt. If we can agree on that as a fact, and not an opinion, we can rationally consider pipeline safety.
The factors determining the safety of any pipeline compared to rail or trucking are also obvious and visually undeniable. Below is a simple chart outlining some of the risk factors that go into transporting liquids and gases:
|Factor||Pipeline||Pipe Score||Train||Train Score|
|Above/Below Ground||Burried||1||Above Ground||8|
|Visibility||Very Low||1||Very High||8|
|Human Error Likelihood||Nearly Zero||1||Constant||6|
|Intentional Damage Likelihood||Very Low||1||Moderate||5|
|Easy of Stopping Leak||Very Easy||1||Very Difficult||6|
|24 Hr Monitoring||Excellent||1||Minimal||8|