WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. rail delivery of petroleum and petroleum products was up 7.9 percent last week from the same period in 2013, the American Association of Railroads said.
The AAR said 14,234 carloads of petroleum and petroleum products, or about 9.9 million barrels of oil, were delivered on the rail system for the week ending Feb. 15, up from the same time last year and nearly 3.8 percent more than the preceding week.
Since Jan. 1, 99,973 carloads, or about 69 million barrels of oil, were delivered on the U.S. rail system, an 8.6 percent increase from the same period last year, the AAR said Thursday.
Industry officials say the increase in U.S. crude oil production is outstripping the existing pipeline capacity, forcing some energy companies to turn to rail as an alternate transit option.
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told the Capital New York news agency this week pipelines were "probably" the better option in terms of cost, safety and emissions when compared with rail.
American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said in a statement Thursday the industry was looking "in a holistic way" at how to improve rail transit.
The AAR's rail count excludes deliveries from the Canadian National Railway Co. and Canadian Pacific Railway.