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Rail deliveries of petroleum increasing

Sept. 21, 2012 at 6:20 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The Association of American Railroads said transportation of petroleum products was up nearly 50 percent this week compared to the same period last year.

The North Dakota Industrial Commission, part of the oil and natural gas division at the Department of Mineral Resources, reported this week that less than 45 percent of its daily crude oil production was delivered by pipelines. Rail and truck deliveries, it said, "are adequate to keep up with near term production projections."

AAR said for the week that rail transportation of U.S. petroleum productions increased 46.3 percent this week compared to the same period last year. Nine of 20 commodity groups delivered by rail posted increases compared to last year.

In early September, BNSF Railway, which operates 32,000 route miles of rail in the United States and Canada, said it was investing $197 million in rail expansion in North Dakota and Montana. The expansion would allow the railroad to transport 1 million barrels of crude oil per day from the region.

Norwegian energy company Statoil added it would use rail, not pipelines, to deliver oil from its operations in the Bakken and Three Forks oil plays in North Dakota.

Each rail car can carry around 700 barrels of petroleum products.

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