Crude oil will continue rolling by rail

|By:, SA News Editor

Shipments of crude oil by rail have risen sharply as uncertainty over several big pipeline projects including Keystone XL has sent some oil companies looking to rail as a longer-term solution.

Rail offers flexibility, allowing shippers quickly to redirect supplies to wherever they are most valued; coastal refineries aren’t convenient to the pipeline network and likely never will be.

Although the profitability of crude by rail is being squeezed by rising benchmark prices, customers and railroads alike are still investing in terminals and signing long-term contracts, suggesting that crude by rail is here to stay.