Thursday, December 27, 2012

By rail or by barge

Today's Wall Street Journal had an article on how more crude oil is moving by rail and by barge, thanks to shale production and problems in getting pipeline capacity built.

Read it for yourself, but here are some highlights:

Oil shipments by barge from oil fields in the northern U.S. to refineries in the South are up from 3.8 million barrels in 2008 to 15.3 million in 2011. And while shipping by train is more expensive than by pipeline, even with the transport costs, U.S. crude is cheaper than foreign crude.

The river part deals mainly with the Mississippi, but I've written before that there should be crude oil fro the Utica shale moving on the Ohio River soon, from eastern Ohio to the Marathon refinery at Catlettsburg, Ky.