API's Gerard holds media teleconference on Bakken crude rail shipments

Washington, May 22, 2014, 2:30 pm

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard holds media teleconference to discuss shipments of Bakken crude oil and safety issues. 


Industry: Bakken oil not more risky than others

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The U.S. oil industry pushed back Tuesday against tougher rules for rail cars carrying crude following a string of fiery accidents, asserting in a new report that oil from the Northern Plains is no more dangerous than some other cargoes.

But the results of the industry-funded study differ from the stance of the federal government, which issued a safety alert in January warning the public, emergency responders and shippers about the potential high volatility of crude from the Bakken oil patch.


Railways, oil producers differ over liability rules in Canada

The Canadian Press

In the wake of last year's disastrous derailment in Lac Megantic, railway operators in Canada would like to see a change in the country’s liability rules. They currently are obliged to move customers’ cargo, including crude oil, but also have to take all responsibility if something goes wrong, The Canadian Press reports.


CEO hopes town where 47 died will OK oil trains

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The company purchasing the assets of a railroad responsible for a fiery oil train derailment that claimed 47 lives in Quebec plans to resume oil shipments after track safety improvements are made, the firm's top executive said Friday.

John Giles, president and CEO of Central Maine and Quebec Railway, said he hopes to have an agreement with officials in Lac Megantic, Quebec, within 10 days that would allow the railroad to ship nonhazardous goods, restoring the vital link between the railroad's operations to the east and west of the community.


Bankrupt railroad in Quebec derailment sold

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The sale of the Maine-based railroad blamed for a deadly oil train derailment in Quebec has been completed 10 months after the disaster that claimed 47 lives.

Chapter 11 trustee Robert Keach said the parties closed Thursday on the $15.85 million sale of bankrupt Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway. A separate, parallel Canadian proceeding will be completed at a later date.

Proceeds from the sale will help pay off creditors.


Bakken crude volatile, but no new rules needed: Industry group

The Wall Street Journal

The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, a lobbying group for the industry, says existing federal rules are sufficient regarding the loading and transportation of Bakken crude, even though it acknowledges that data shows the oil is very volatile, The Wall Street Journal reports.


Study: ND oil worker death rate 6 times US average

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota has the country's highest death rate for workers in the oil, gas and mining sector, at more than six times the national average, and an even higher rate among construction workers, according to a new report from the nation's largest labor union.

The AFL-CIO report, compiled from data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that North Dakota had a rate of 104 deaths per 100,000 workers in the oil, gas and mining industry in 2012. The national average was 15.9 deaths per 100,000.

And at 97.4 deaths per 100,000 workers, the state's construction fatality rate was nearly 10 times the national rate for that industry, according to the report.


Charges brought in Quebec railway disaster

TORONTO (AP) — Three employees of the insolvent railway company involved in last summer's runaway oil train disaster that killed 47 people are due to appear in court Tuesday to face criminal negligence charges in the small Quebec town that was partially incinerated by exploding tanker cars.

The charges come about 10 months after more than 60 of the tankers carrying oil from North Dakota came loose in the middle of the night, sped downhill for nearly seven miles (11 kilometers) and derailed in the town of Lac-Megantic in eastern Quebec. At least five of the tankers exploded, leveling about 30 buildings, including a popular bar that was filled with revelers last July 6.

The Quebec provincial prosecutor's office said 47 counts of criminal negligence have been filed against engineer Thomas Harding, manager of train operations Jean Demaitre, and Richard Labrie, the railway's traffic controller, as well as against the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway Ltd., the defunct railway at the heart of the disaster. The charges represent one count for each person killed and are the first criminal charges brought in the disaster. Criminal negligence that causes death can result in a jail sentence of up to life imprisonment in Canada.


Line clear after Colo. Derailment: Union Pacific


Service has resumed on the line where an oil car derailed in Colorado Friday, spilling 5,300 gallons, Reuters reports, citing a Union Pacific spokesman.


AFL-CIO study finds oil workers more likely to die in ND


Citing the number of inexperienced people flocking to the Bakken Shale boom state for work, an AFL-CIO study found that those employed in the oil and gas industry were six times more likely to die on the job in North Dakota than workers in other states, Bloomberg reports.


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