| July 15
July 15 As many as 44 trains loaded with
volatile Bakken crude oil are being sent through the state of
New York each week, according to confidential disclosures made
by railroads to state emergency responders, and released to
Reuters through a Freedom of Information Law request.
The disclosures come as New York and other states grapple
with health and safety risks posed by a recent surge in
oil-by-rail cargoes, following at least six fiery derailments of
trains carrying Bakken oil in North America since last July.
The New York State Emergency Response Commission released
disclosures from railroads CSX Corp and Canadian Pacific
Railway Ltd on Tuesday. They estimate the number of
trains carrying at least 1 million gallons of crude oil from the
Bakken region that each railroad sends through New York weekly.
CSX sends 20 to 35 trains of Bakken crude through New York
each week. Some of them travel through as many as 17 different
counties, the disclosure shows. The so-called unit trains
consist of strings of tank cars more than a mile long, and
typically carry 1 million to 2 million gallons, or as much as
70,000 barrels of crude each, according to oil and shipping
Canadian Pacific (CP) sends five to nine Bakken oil-laden
trains through New York per week, the company told the state's
A May 7 Department of Transportation Executive Order
required railroads to inform emergency responders about large
crude-by-rail cargoes of Bakken oil passing through their
The DOT issued the order because "a pattern of releases and
fires involving Bakken originated crude oil represents an
imminent threat to public safety," the Federal Railroad
Administration said in an email in response to an inquiry about
Last July a derailment in Lac Megantic, Quebec killed 47
Pockets of resistance to crude-by-rail traffic through New
York State have been growing, with some groups in state capital
Albany seeking to ban the trains, many of which are destined for
a port there.
Several other states have released similar disclosures from
railroads. Others have declined to make the disclosures public,
citing confidentiality clauses.
LEADING OIL DESTINATION
The volume of unit trains carrying Bakken crude through New
York shows the Empire State has become a leading destination for
the light, sweet oil produced in North Dakota and Montana, which
regulators say is more volatile than other varieties.
According to a Reuters analysis, the CSX and CP disclosures
suggest that New York railways may handle between 850,000 and 3
million barrels of Bakken crude per week, based on typical unit
train volumes and a weekly influx of between 25 and 44 trains.
The Bakken region produces around 1 million barrels of crude
per day. Most of it is sent to market by railroad.
From the New York coast Bakken oil can be loaded onto barges
and sent to refineries up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
(Reporting by Joshua Schneyer; Editing by Richard Chang)