Bakken crude is highly volatile, but railroads also deserve blame for accidents

|By:, SA News Editor

Data released by a lobbying group for oil refiners confirms that crude from North Dakota is very volatile and contains high levels of combustible gases, but the group says the crude is no more dangerous to ship than oil from other shale regions and new rules on safety standards are not needed.

Oil and refining companies say it's mostly the railroads that are at fault: a probe into the derailment and explosion of a train in Lac-Megantic last year found that brakes weren’t applied correctly; a train that exploded in North Dakota in December crashed into a train that had derailed across the tracks; and the April explosion of a train carrying Bakken crude through Lynchburg, Va., may have been caused because sections of the track bed had been washed away by heavy rains.

Among Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.