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SPOTLIGHT

1. PIPELINES:

Scientists find conventional crudes similarly corrosive to oil sands mix

Activists opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline believe the crude it would carry would make it more prone to leaks than the existing 52,475 miles of pipelines the United States has to transport conventional crude oil. Their fears have been underscored by a statistic: Alberta has two pipeline failures per 1,000 miles of pipeline every year. In comparison, the United States has 1.7 failures for every 1,000-mile stretch. The difference, it is thought, is that Alberta's pipelines transport diluted bitumen, also called dilbit.

2. EARTHQUAKES:

Calif. drilling will trigger temblors -- industry expert

LONG BEACH, CALIF. -- Drilling for oil in California is likely to trigger earthquakes but most will be very small, an industry consultant said here last week. Companies hoping to extract petroleum trapped in Golden State shale in many cases must drill long horizontal wells, said Michael Bruno, president of GeoMechanics Technologies, an analysis firm. As developers stimulate larger areas, he said, man-made or "induced" seismic reactions can occur.

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