MYTH: Oil derived from the oil sands is more corrosive than other crude oils.
FACT: Bitumen, one of the types of crude oils derived from the Canadian oil sands, assumes similar characteristics to other heavy crudes once it is upgraded for pipeline transportation. By the time the upgraded (or “diluted”) bitumen reaches the piping network, the crude oil must meet quality specifications that are posted with the National Energy Board in Canada and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the U.S. and does not pose a unique threat to infrastructure or the environment.
Corrosion experts support these facts. Dr. Oliver Moghissi, former President of NACE International, concluded, “Corrosivity of diluted bitumen is largely similar to crude oil, which is considered to be low. In addition, the threat of corrosion from diluted bitumen can be managed by conventional engineering practice in the same way as crude oil.” Recent studies by Alberta Innovates supports these conclusions as well.