Oil pipelines are scattered all across the world, they are made from steel or plastic tubes which are usually buried. The oil is moved through the pipelines by pump stations along the pipeline. Natural gas (and similar gaseous fuels) are lightly pressurised into liquids known as Natural Gas Liquids (kerosene oil). The problem we have with oil pipelines is the risk of them bursting, in February a damaged Peru pipeline leaked 3,000 barrels of oil into Amazon region. You may of heard of, Enbridge, an energy delivery company based in, Canada, from the summer of 2010 – when the largest inland spill in United State history happened. Nearly 26,200 barrels of crude oil leaked into the Kalamazoo River.
This year environmentalists are predicting that a potential disaster will occur in Mackinac Island. Mackinac Island is a city in Canada which has numerous oil lines at the bottom of the Great Lakes, they move oil from the great white north of Canada into the cities of the United States. The pipelines are very durable, made of steel with an enamel and tar coal coating. They’re 20 inches in diameter, with walls an eighth-of-an-inch thick but that’s not to say there invincible. Safety precautions are in place to protect the Lakes from a leak. Underwater cameras monitor the lines, and Enbridge has facilities at each end of the Straits with emergency shut off valves.
The National Wildlife Federation decided to take a look by taking an underwater expedition in 2015. They found the pipelines covered in trash and zebra mussels, but more alarmingly, is what they didn’t find. Missing support beams required by Federal law. However, since this investigation actions have been taken.
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