Media Statements and Releases

New Report Reveals Diluted Bitumen Not Corrosive
February 25, 2013 | News Releases

Calgary, February 25, 2013 –  A new report (PDF) by Penspen Integrity, a division of the UK-based Penspen Limited, reveals diluted bitumen is not more corrosive than conventional crude (PDF).

Brenda Kenny, President and CEO, of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA), is pleased with the results of the report, which finally dispels the myth that industry critics have been spreading regarding the transportation of diluted bitumen.

“We have always known, based on scientific facts and our pipelines operational histories, that diluted bitumen is no more corrosive than conventional crude,” Kenny said. “Now, this manufactured myth can stop and Canadians can be further assured that our pipelines are safe regardless of the type of product they carry.”

The Penspen report examined 40 studies addressing the behaviour of diluted bitumen and conventional crude.  In these studies, which spanned over 40 years, the research concluded that diluted bitumen is no more corrosive when compared to conventional crude oil.

“It is important to have scientific evidence in front of Canadians, so they can make their own informed decisions, and not rely on misinformation”, Kenny said.

The report also showed that tests were carried out using internationally recognized standards, which found that small differences in some components of the product did not increase the chances of corrosion developing in oil transmission pipelines.  In addition, monitoring and preventative maintenance programs used by transmission pipeline operators on conventional crude oil pipelines were equally as effective on pipelines containing diluted bitumen.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 110,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2011, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. CEPA members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.

Penspen Limited, is a 1,600 employee company with its headquarters in Richmond Upon Thames, United Kingdom. Penspen Integrity is a business stream of Penspen Limited. Its mission is to provide the international onshore and offshore pipeline community with a complete and independent integrity service, using a combination of first-class engineers, sound engineering practice, state-of-the-art techniques, and innovative technology. The main focus of Penspen Integrity is the integrity of pipeline infrastructure – an essential factor in oil and gas production and asset management.

For technical inquiries about the report, please contact: David Eyre, Principal Consultant, Penspen Ltd: +44 208 334 2700 or via email at

For all other media inquiries, please contact: Sandra Burns, Manager, Communications, CEPA: 403 221 8764 or via email at


Authors of the Report:

Dr Roger King has over 40 years experience in corrosion engineering in the North Sea, Middle East, Far East and Australian oil and gas production industry. He has specialist knowledge of sweet and mildly soured corrosion and its prevention by chemical inhibition, monitoring of corrosion, microbiological corrosion and the design of efficient cathodic protection systems for onshore and offshore pipelines, structures and seabed installations. Dr King has published over 80 papers on these corrosion topics.

Dr David Eyre is a Principal Consultant at Penspen Ltd and has over 30 years experience in corrosion engineering in the UK, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Australian oil and gas production and water pipeline industries.  As well as integrity management projects Dr Eyre has extensive experience in pipeline corrosion and pipeline corrosion protection systems including design, management, maintenance and operation of internal corrosion protection and cathodic protection systems for pipelines and facilities. He specialises in determining the root cause of failure in such systems.

The report was reviewed by Professor Phil Hopkins. 

Professor Phil Hopkins is a Director of the pipeline engineering company Penspen Ltd. Prior to working for Penspen he was the Managing Director of the pipeline engineering consultants, Andrew Palmer and Associates (APA), and spent 17 years working in the Research and Technology Division of British Gas, where he was Business Manager for pipelines. Professor Hopkins has been involved with many committees, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Pipeline Division (chair 2006-7), and is a previous co-chairman of the European Pipeline Research Group. He is the author of over 90 papers on pipeline topics, and has presented over 100 training courses all over the world.

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