Transport pigs could ease oil fears

Transport pigs could address problems with oil transportation.

Dear editor,

Present state of the art for moving heavy oil in a pipeline requires strong dilution to accommodate pumping.

The pipelines are subjected to traveling over environmentally sensitive areas — through mountains that may have landslides, in earthquake-prone areas — and may be a target for man-made explosions.

The oil requires reclamation of the diluting agents and transport to point of origin for re-use.

Transport pigs would address these problems.

They would be a safer method of moving heavy crude such as bitumen crude, without the need for diluting agents.

The volume of crude moved is subject to the speed of the crude. The speed of movement and delivery volume could be increased with the transport pigs.

The pigs are loaded with bulk liquids such as heavy crude, the pigs then move through the pipeline to the unload destination. The pigs are emptied and are then returned to their loading point.

The pigs are made in a corrugated design allowing the pig to make turns and slightly flex.

Valves at each end of the pig allow the pigs to be fast loaded or unloaded.

The pigs ride on rider bands, which also act as a seal for transport air or a gas such as nitrogen.

The pigs can carry heavy oil without the need for other chemicals to dilute the oil for pumping. If the pipeline were ruptured very little spill if any would occur. If an explosion occurred on the pipeline very little leakage would occur.

The system could operate in various climates, even extreme low temperatures, without the need to change the viscosity of the liquid being carried.

Most pipelines travel to a seaport; the pigs could be loaded with ocean water for the return trip for use in depleted oil zones.

The Transport Pigs could even be loaded on a freighter for shipment to point of use.

The petroleum industry talks about building a safe pipeline with access to state of the art spill cleanup technology.

As a B.C. resident, I don’t want a safe pipeline.

I want a safe transportation system, without the chance of a spill.

I believe the transport method outlined would address this concern. It would also create an opportunity for B.C. and Canada to become world leaders in technology and supply of equipment for safe transportation of potentially dangerous fluids.

 

Ron Minshull

Sointula  B.C.