FRA faults bolts, brakes and UP in June 3 crude oil derailment

The Federal Railroad Administration on June 23, 2106 released its preliminary findings on the June 3 Oregon crude oil derailment and found at fault: bolts, brakes and Union Pacific.

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UP Bakken crude oil train derails in Oregon

A Union Pacific train carrying 96 carloads of Bakken crude to a refinery in Tacoma, Wash., derailed in Mosier, Ore., on June 3.

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RBN Energy on CBR: “All is not gloom and doom”

A few years back, crude-by-rail (CBR) “emerged as the go-to fix that enabled pipeline-constrained shale regions to move fast-increasing volumes of oil to market,” writes RBN Energy LLC analyst Housley Carr in Slow Train Coming: What’s Next for CBR. “But changes in the market—lower oil prices, slowing/declining production, new pipeline capacity—have been challenging and undermining CBR.”

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RBN Energy: CBR to Northwest refineries resilient

Northwest crude oil refiners are still shipping significant volumes of crude from North Dakota’s Bakken region, RBN analyst Sandy Fielden discusses in “Slow Train Coming: Crude By Rail To Northwest Refineries Still Resilient.”

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RBN Energy: The decline and fall of East Coast CBR

As RBN Energy LLC analyst Sandy Fielden describes in Slow Train Coming: The Decline and Fall of East Coast Crude by Rail, the economics of shipping crude oil out of North Dakota’s Bakken region, compared to importing equivalent crude, are having a detrimental impact on crude-by-rail (CBR) shipments to the East Coast.

CBR: What’s happening in the Rockies?

According to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) monthly Drilling Productivity Report, crude production from the Niobrara shale region in Colorado and Wyoming, which peaked at 491 Mb/d (million barrels per day) in April 2015, is forecast to decline by roughly100 Mb/d to 388 Mb/d through March 2016, in response to falling crude prices and lower drilling activity.

RBN Energy: CBR economics aren’t what they used to be

The crude by rail (CBR) boom that less than two years ago preoccupied the industry and generated intense regulatory scrutiny is, for all intents and purposes, over, according to a new analysis by RBN Energy.


AAR considers court action to alter CBR rulemaking

Reaffirmation by the U.S. rail and hazardous materials regulators of new rules for the movement of flammable liquids means operational migraines for railroaders, without actually addressing the underlying cause of crude oil exploding in transit.

Does zero Bakken crude for Irving Oil indicate a trend?

Irving Oil Ltd., operator of Canada’s largest crude oil refinery, has stopped importing crude oil sourced from the Bakken shale formation in North Dakota and shipped by rail in favor of cheaper crudes from such producers as OPEC, “reflecting a shift in crude costs affecting East Coast refiners during a global slump in oil prices,” the Wall Street Journal recently reported.

AAR: CBR leveling off in 2015

In reporting Class I railroad traffic for the week ending Aug. 8, 2015, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) took note of the fact that CBR (crude by rail) shipments in 2015’s second quarter dropped 16%, or 21,189 tank car loads, from third-quarter 2014, the peak quarter for rail crude oil originations. Second-quarter 2015’s 111,068 CBR carloads represented a 1.8% drop, or 2,021 carloads, from this year’s first-quarter.