Number of crude oil trains declined in 2015 as prices fell

Repost from the Great Falls Tribune

Number of crude oil trains declined as prices fell

The Associated Press, February 25, 2016 8:19 a.m. MST

OMAHA, Neb. — Freight railroads delivered 17 percent fewer carloads of crude oil last year after oil prices collapsed.

The Association of American Railroads said Wednesday 410,249 carloads of crude oil were carried across the United States last year, down from 493,126 carloads in 2014.

But the number of crude oil carloads remains well above the 9,500 carloads railroads hauled in 2008 before the boom took off in the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.

Oil prices have been hovering around $30 per barrel instead of the prices above $100 that were common a couple years ago.

Tank cars of crude oil have been involved in several fiery derailments in recent years. Rail accidents remain relatively rare compared to the total number of shipments, and the industry is working to reduce them.