New rules take effect for North Dakota crude oil shipments

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Following a spate of explosive accidents involving North Dakota crude, the state began requiring companies on Wednesday to remove certain liquids and gases from oil before it's loaded onto rail cars — a move industry and state regulators believe will make for safer shipments.

The rules, developed over the past year, require all crude from the state's oil patch to be treated by heat or by pressure to reduce its volatility before being loaded onto train cars.


Massive fire engulfs Mexican oil rig, 4 dead

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A massive ball of flames engulfed an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, killing four people and sending terrified workers jumping into the sea.

State-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said there was no evidence yet of a major oil spill following the blast, which injured 16 workers, two seriously, and forced the evacuation of 300.


Albanian authorities evacuate village after oil well blast

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities are evacuating residents of a village following an explosion at a Canadian-owned oil well. No injuries were reported.

A statement from the Calgary-based Bankers Petroleum Ltd. said an "uncontrolled leak of natural gas occurred during drilling operation" Wednesday in Marinze, 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of the capital Tirana.


Death toll rises to 14 in Mexico gas tanker explosion

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The death toll from the explosion of a crashed gasoline tanker truck in southern Mexico rose to 14 on Tuesday.

The Tabasco state prosecutor's office said through its official Twitter account that two more people had died.

BNSF railroad adds new safety rules for crude oil trains

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — BNSF railroad has started taking additional safety measures for crude oil shipments because of four recent high-profile derailments in the U.S. and Canada.

The railroad said Monday that is slowing down crude oil trains to 35 mph in cities with more than 100,000 people and increasing track inspections near waterways.


Death toll rises to 9 in Mexico gas tanker explosion

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The death toll from the explosion of a crashed gasoline tanker truck in southern Mexico has risen to nine.

The Tabasco state prosecutor's office posted on its official Facebook page Sunday that five more people had died. Among the dead are a girl and two boys.


Dems' crude-by-rail safety bill would pull 37,000 tankers from service

Four Senate Democrats proposed Wednesday that many of the railroad cars that carry crude oil be taken out of service immediately, that new cars be required to have electronically-controlled pneumatic brakes, and that there be new rules requiring that crude be made less volatile before shipment.

The proposal would immediately pull about 37,000 tanker cars from service as a "market signal" to get safer tankers manufactured, the senators said. The oil and rail industries were quick to raise doubts about the proposal.


Oil train disaster fund grows with Irving Oil's contribution

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A proposed settlement fund for victims of a fiery oil train derailment that killed 47 people across the border in Quebec has grown to $270 million (U.S.) with a contribution from Irving Oil, a bankruptcy trustee said Monday.

A court filing Friday in Canada identified 22 parties who have agreed to contribute, including Irving, which previously balked but now says it's providing $60 million to the fund.


Oil train worries increase in Chicago


The fiery oil train derailment earlier this month in Galena, Illinois has triggered concerns among Chicago residents and officials about the safety of such trains rolling through the state’s largest city, the Chicagoist reports.

Canada safety board says tank car standards needed sooner

TORONTO (AP) — Canada needs to implement tougher standards for oil trains earlier than a 2025 target, the transportation safety board said Tuesday.

The government proposed tougher standards for tank cars this month in response to a string of fiery crashes. The new proposal would require the cars to have a layer of thermal protection and thicker steel walls. It said the new standards should be phased in by 2015.


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