Crude shipments not yet affected by high oil prices -Norfolk Southern

HOUSTON, July 23 Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:54pm EDT

HOUSTON, July 23 (Reuters) - Norfolk Southern Corp has not seen its crude shipments slow despite higher oil prices, executives said on Tuesday.

U.S. crude oil prices have risen in recent weeks, narrowing their discount to London's Brent to less than $2 a barrel from $20 in February. That compressed spread cuts into profits of refiners and others who ship crude by rail as the transportation cost can range from $9 to $16 a barrel.

But Norfolk Southern Chief Executive Charles Moorman said during the railroad's second-quarter earnings conference call that the company's crude volumes have not yet been affected.

He said the spread narrowed "rather quickly and we will have to see whether or not that type of spread compression continues."

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