Oil-by-rail shippers withholding important data -U.S. officials

WASHINGTON Fri May 2, 2014 1:49pm EDT

WASHINGTON May 2 (Reuters) - Oil-by-rail shippers have mostly ignored officials seeking data by officials trying to prevent dangerous mishaps on the tracks, the U.S. Department of Transportation said on Friday.

Regulators are eyeing North Dakota's energy patch, known as the Bakken, which was the origin of several doomed shipments such as this week's derailment in Lynchburg, Virginia in which 15 tank cars jumped the tracks, causing a fire.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last week urged many Bakken shippers to share data with authorities on fuel moving on the tracks.

"We lack comprehensive data about the characteristics of this product," Foxx wrote in a letter. "We therefore renew our request to companies such as yours." (Reporting By Patrick Rucker; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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