WSJ: Bakken shale oil carries high combustion risk

|By:, SA News Editor

Following a string of explosive accidents on railcars carrying crude oil, a WSJ analysis finds that crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale formation contains several times more combustible gases than oil from elsewhere.

Nearly 1M bbl/day are being produced in North Dakota but with pipeline capacity unable to keep up with growth, railroads are the prime method of transporting the crude to refineries; the volatility of the crude, however, raises concerns that the cargo moving through the U.S. is more dangerous than previously believed.

Tanker cars full of oil pass through several major U.S. cities, and a repeat of what happened in last July's fatal derailment in Quebec in a densely populated area is a huge safety concern.

Among top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, XOM, MRO, STO.