Myth vs. Fact: Pipeline Safety

MYTH: Oil sands pipelines are different than regular oil pipelines and are unsafe.

FACT: Pipelines carrying oil from the Canadian oil sands are no different than other pipelines designed to carry petroleum. Those pipelines designed to transport heavy oils operate under higher pressure levels than is necessary for lighter crude oils, but as is true with any engineering feat, petroleum pipelines are constructed to specifications ensuring that they can handle the intended operating pressure no matter what flows through them. They are widely acknowledged to be the safest and most efficient way to move energy products overland for long distances and are built to last.[1] The Department of Transportation[2], which oversees pipeline safety, agrees: “Pipelines, in short, are practical and safe.”

[1] Association of Oil Pipe Lines, About Pipelines

[2] U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline Safety Awareness, 2009


  1. […] said it time and again, but there continues to be reporting to the contrary: oil pipelines are designed to specifications necessary to handle whatever flows through it. Pipelines that transport heavy oils, a […]

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