Seeking Alpha

Are railroads the new way to play the oil sands boom? Rail sports several advantages over...

Are railroads the new way to play the oil sands boom? Rail sports several advantages over pipelines, thus the weekly number of carloads of oil products in North America has been surging since early 2011. But there are disadvantages too: it costs ~2x as much to move oil on rails than through a pipe, and the boom in oil traffic for trains merely replaces part of what’s being lost in coal traffic.
Comments (7)
  • While rail is a necessary short term fix for a bad US policy on the pipeline it will not replace pipelines as the best and most efficient way to ship oil and nat gas. The move to ship by rail unfortunately merely reinforces the incredibly inept or intentionally destructive US energy policy and Keystone pipeline decision.
    23 May 2012, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • I 100% agree with you, Hawk. People need to look at the Seaway pipeline as an example. The tariff to ship light sweet crude on Seaway is $3.82, but you can sell light sweet crude down on the gulf coast for brent minus 50 cents. There are several companies making a killing on that spread. The cost to rail crude down to the gulf is probably around $13 to $15 (Based on the WTI/Brent differential). We need to build more pipelines to get crude out of the mid-continent and stop bowing to these crazy environmentalists.
    23 May 2012, 05:44 PM Reply Like
  • The loss of coal business for the rails is not offset by more crude oil business. Coal a huge source of revenue for the rails.
    23 May 2012, 05:30 PM Reply Like
  • Did Warren Buffet write this article? Hey Hawk, are you a KU alum or just a fan?
    23 May 2012, 06:53 PM Reply Like
  • HoeT, I am a KU alum and a fan. A big fan.
    23 May 2012, 07:52 PM Reply Like
  • We are also big fans. I had one daughter graduate 8 years ago, another a week ago Sunday. Go Hawks!!!
    23 May 2012, 07:58 PM Reply Like
  • Go Hawks. Congrats on your daughter last week. I went out to see family in KC but didn't go to Lawrence. Hope your daughter has a great time post grad.
    23 May 2012, 09:35 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)