HOUSTON May 9 U.S. regulators seeking data from
refiners in the effort to gauge the volatility of North Dakota
Bakken crude being shipped by rail will have the information by
the end of May, according to the industry's trade group.
Seventeen companies have anonymously submitted data from
more than 1,000 samples to an undisclosed third-party auditor
hired by the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers
(AFPM), the U.S. independent refining industry's trade group,
the group's general counsel, Rich Moskowitz, said on Friday.
A technical consultant is compiling the information into a
report that will be submitted to the U.S. Department of
Transportation by month's end, Moskowitz said. It will be
submitted without the companies identifying themselves because
they consider the data to be proprietary.
A spate of fiery crude train crashes has prompted regulators
to examine oil-by-rail safety, and earlier this year DOT's
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
called for Bakken operators and shippers to share crude testing
data to help regulators evaluate the volatility of oil produced
DOT didn't set a deadline, but last week it identified only
three companies that it said have shared such data: Exxon Mobil
Corp, Continental Resources Inc and privately
held Savage Companies.
Other companies say they have shared data as well. Oil
producer Hess Corp said the company has shared such data
with DOT personnel in North Dakota.
J.P. Fjeld-Hansen, managing director at Musket, a privately
held trading and logistics company with Bakken oil-loading
operations, also said crude shipped from its facilities "is
properly tested, classified and reported to DOT". He said PHMSA
and DOT have visited Musket's crude loading facilities several
times this year.
Pipeline company Plains All American, which has
crude by rail operations in the Bakken and other U.S. oil plays,
said the company shared crude sampling data from several Bakken
locations with DOT in mid-March.
Independent refiners Phillips 66 and Tesoro Corp
also said they also are sharing data through the AFPM
"We want to find a solution and work with regulators on
that," said Phillips 66 spokesman Dean Acosta.
PHMSA did not immediately comment.
(Reporting By Kristen Hays; Editing by Peter Galloway)