Finance & Investing
News Services
Newsletters
Get free industry updates via email.
Daily News
Weekly News
Equipment Updates
Weekly Job Register
Monthly Event Guide
Our privacy
pledge.


advertisement

Deadly Derailment Won't Stop Oil on Trains

change text size

NEW YORK - A train loaded with crude oil could soon roll through a town near you.

A fiery and fatal train derailment earlier this month in Quebec, near the Maine border, highlighted the danger of moving oil by rail. But while the practice could be made safer, it won't be stopped in its tracks. This year, more trains carrying crude will chug across North America than ever before — nearly 1,400 carloads a day. In 2009, there were just 31 carloads a day.

U.S. and Canadian drillers are producing oil faster than new pipelines can be built. As a result, trains have become an unexpected yet vital way to move this bounty of energy from the continent's midsection to refineries along the coasts. Not since the dawn of the petroleum age, when John D. Rockefeller clashed with railroad barons, have trains been so important to the oil market.

Since the July 6 tragedy in Lac-Megantic, where a runaway train carrying 72 carloads of crude derailed and killed 50 people, there have been calls for tougher regulations, stronger rail cars and more pipelines.

But experts say the oil industry's growing reliance on trains won't be derailed anytime soon. There's just no other way to get vast amounts of oil from North Dakota and Rocky Mountain states to refineries along the coasts, which are eager for cheaper, homegrown alternatives to imports brought in by boat.

"Stopping crude by rail would be tantamount to stopping oil production in a lot of the places it is now being produced," says Michael Levi, who heads the Council on Foreign Relations' program on energy security and climate change.

Even safety experts worried about the dangers of shipping oil by rail acknowledge that the safety record of railroads is good — and improving. The scope of the Lac-Megantic disaster, which is still under investigation, appears to have been the result of uniquely bad circumstances, these experts say.


123456

View Full Article

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Post a Comment Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
Greg Gulak | Jul. 19, 2013
I thought there was a law on the books that prohibited the export of crude oil from the US. If that is the case I suspect the oil in the tank cars in Quebec originated in Saskatchewan, although it may have been loaded in ND.The law dates back over 80 years as I recall hearing.



Most Popular Articles
From the Career Center
Jobs that may interest you
Safety Coordinator
Expertise: Safety Officer
Location: Permian Basin
 
HSSE Director
Expertise: HSE Manager / Advisor
Location: Houston, TX
 
Senior Process Safety Engineer (EPC Company)
Expertise: Process Engineer, Safety Engineering
Location: Houston, TX
 
search for more jobs