U.S. oil pipeline output increasing

Rail transit shows similar trends.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 29, 2014 at 8:34 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Commodities moving through the pipeline system in North America grew by its largest percentage in June because of increase in oil from Bakken, the government said.

The U.S. Department of Transportation updated its freight numbers for commodities traded under the U.S. North American Free Trade Agreement. The value of commodities moving through pipelines in June increased 35.2 percent, the largest percentage of any mode of transportation.

"This increase is due, in part, to exports of crude oil by pipeline from the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana," the department said Thursday.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission oil production in June, the last full month for which data are available, was 1.09 million barrels per day, a record for the state and a 4.8 percent increase from the previous month.

Nearly all of the oil produced in North Dakota comes from the Bakken and Three Forks area.

Total U.S. oil production has increased to the point that there's not enough pipeline capacity to handle the glut. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said the amount of crude oil and refined petroleum products moved by rail, the primary alternative to pipelines, increased 9 percent during the first seven months of the year.

The Department of Transportation is considering new safety measures for oil transported by rail. A series of oil train derailments, some of them deadly, have raised concerns and the department is calling for more durable tank cars as a result.

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