Cities Boost Work on Oil-Train Safety as Production Surges

An oil drilling rig is seen September 29, 2010 near Stanley, North Dakota. The well is being drilled into the Bakken Formation, one of the largest contiguous deposits of oil and natural gas in the United States. It is an interbedded sequence of black shale, siltstone and sandstone that underlies large areas of northwestern North Dakota, northeastern Montana, southern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba.
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Ben Geman
Jan. 15, 2014, 12:24 a.m.

Of­fi­cials in cit­ies na­tion­wide are work­ing on how to handle po­ten­tial ac­ci­dents in­volving trains car­ry­ing crude oil, The Wall Street Journ­al re­ports in an ana­lys­is of ship­ping routes.

The Journ­al piece notes that rail­road of­fi­cials don’t like to talk about it, but oil trains are tra­vers­ing many large cit­ies as pro­duc­tion from North Dakota’s Bakken re­gion surges.

“Bakken crude, which has been in­volved in three ma­jor ex­plo­sions after rail ac­ci­dents in the past sev­en months, is trav­el­ing to every corner of the coun­try: west in­to Wash­ing­ton state and then south to re­finer­ies near Los Angeles; south to Gulf Coast re­finers; north in­to Canada; and east to re­finer­ies in New Jer­sey and Phil­adelphia,” the pa­per says.

The Bis­mark Tribune re­ports on the latest data show­ing that oil pro­duc­tion in North Dakota is get­ting closer to 1 mil­lion bar­rels per day.

The Hou­s­ton Chron­icle, mean­while, has the latest on the Trans­port­a­tion De­part­ment’s sched­ule for com­plet­ing a reg­u­la­tion on rail tank-car safety.


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