REGINA, Saskatchewan – A massive oil spill is wreaking havoc in Saskatchewan this week.  Faulty valves and pipelines have released nearly 80,000 cubic meters of oil and water since late Saturday night when the series of failures began.  Rangoon Resources was piloting an infrastructure program using 3D printed pipes and hardware in the region just north of Stoughton.

Apparently, the polymer printing material could not withstand the cold weather. This lead to cracks in the pipeline that quickly spread into numerous fractures, which then led to massive leaks along the 23 km line.  The operators of the pipline, Aiolean UpStream LLC, dispatched a spokesperson to speak with local residents.

Kent Fudgebishop

We are doing everything we can to stop this disaster from becoming worse than it is.  I promise you, once Rangoon shuts down production, we can clean out the lines, find the leaks, repair them, and then focus on cleaning up the Nakaneestropii Provincial Park.  The wetlands and your beautiful lake will be as good as new in as few as 23 years.  It will be like there was never any oil in the lake or groundwater at all. – Kent Fudgebishop, PR Director Aiolean

The project was an experiment in cost savings for Rangoon and Aiolean.  Plans for valves, headers, and pipelines were put onto Wiki-Plans, a site dedicated to sharing 3D modeling designs.  When Deidritch Von Kedderslutt saw the plans for a complete pipline system, for free, Rangoon began to search for partners.

A crack in one of the 3D printed polymer pipelines

Aiolean, an upstream conventional resource shipping specialist, was drawn in by the promise of more dollars per barrel than ever before.  In spite of the risky business of using a block of melted polymer to make high pressure infrastructure, the project was printed and completed.  As a small aside, 2P News learned that the whole system fit together like Ikea furniture, and required no special personnel or talent to be completed.

We zipped that mofo together in like 3 weeks, all of it.  The little snap joints and tabs fit together like Lago, or Kinackts blocks.  Easy as the girls in Winnipeg. – Teddy Hogg, field operator for Rangoon

As of this morning, Rangoon is still hunting down the predominant leaks in hopes of continuing to produce through what pipe is not cracked or broken.  With only 25% of the oil passing through each line being lost, economically the lines are still viable and Rangoon plans on getting what oil it can to market.

Jenn Gapp

If we lose 25% of our product to an environmental loss, the Saskatchewan government has historically nullified royalties owed in such a scenario.  So in this situation, we are actually only losing $4.50 per flowing barrel.  We can absorb that while we locate and epoxy each leak, effectively sealing the pipeline for another 6-8 months. – Jenn Gapp, Rangoon Resources


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