Oil train news – derailment and fire, speed limits in Canada, expanded production in North Dakota

Three crude oil stories in today’s North American press:
Site of December 2019 CP oil train accident site, with the derailment looking south. Transportation Safety Board of Canada / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Canadian Town Evacuated After Another Oil Train Derails and Burns

From EcoWatch, by Justin Mikulka, DeSmog, Feb. 07, 2020

Early in the morning of Feb. 6, an oil train derailed and caught fire near Guernsey, Saskatchewan, resulting in the Canadian village’s evacuation. This is the second oil train to derail and burn near Guernsey, following one in December that resulted in a fire and oil spill of 400,000 gallons…. [more, including drone footage]


Canada to impose speed limits on trains carrying dangerous goods after crash

Reuters, by David Ljunggren, Rod Nickel, February 6, 2020

Oil train 2OTTAWA/WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Canada said on Thursday it would impose temporary speed limits on trains hauling dangerous goods after a Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd crude oil train derailed and caught fire.

The accident, which happened in the early hours of Thursday near Guernsey, Saskatchewan, was the second derailment in the area in a span of two months.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau said that effective at midnight Friday (0500 GMT), trains hauling more than 20 cars of dangerous goods would be limited to 25 mph across the country for the next 30 days.

The limit in urban areas will be 20 mph, he told reporters….  [more]


Whiting proposes expansion of oil conditioning facility

Bismarck Tribune, by Amy R. Sisk, February 7, 2020

Oil rigs (copy) (copy)Whiting Oil and Gas plans to expand an oil conditioning facility in Mountrail County to accommodate climbing production. The expanded facility would handle up to 65,000 barrels per day of oil, a 20,000-barrel increase over its current capacity, according to an application Whiting filed with the PSC. The oil, once conditioned, would then be taken by pipeline to market.

…Oil production statewide has climbed to 1.52 million barrels per day, 140,000 barrels higher than a year ago.

…Oil typically undergoes a conditioning process as soon as it’s extracted from underground, said Katie Haarsager, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division. It’s often sent through a heater-treater, which separates the oil from natural gas and saltwater.

The oil must be processed so that its vapor pressure level does not exceed 13.7 psi before it can be transported by pipeline, train or truck. North Dakota’s limit of 13.7 psi is based on a national standard for stable crude of 14.7 psi and builds in 1 psi as a margin of error. That limit has been the subject of controversy from environmentalists and rail safety advocates following fiery oil train derailments.  [more]

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