Rail

Alberta Venture - - The Briefing -

Vol­ume shipped

On aver­age, just three per cent of petroleum prod­ucts in Canada are trans­ported over rail, tanker trucks and tank ves­sels. In 2013, 167 mil­lion boe (about seven per cent) was trans­ported by rail

Ex­pense

$10-$15/bar­rel

GHG emis­sions

More ef­fi­cient than pipe­lines for small-scale trans­porta­tion

Safety

Spills are more fre­quent but smaller. More prone to catch­ing fire or caus­ing prop­erty dam­age. The As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­can Rail­roads said the rate of haz­ardous-ma­te­rial spills from rail cars was 2.7 times the risk of spills from pipe­lines. Ac­cord­ing to the right-wing Fraser In­sti­tute, mov­ing oil and nat­u­ral gas by pipe­line is es­ti­mated to be 4.5 times safer for the en­vi­ron­ment than trans­port­ing it by rail

Fre­quency of “oc­cur­rences”

0.227 per 1,000 boe trans­ported

Worst-case sce­nario

In July 2013, a freight train car­ry­ing crude oil de­railed in the Que­bec town of Lac-Mé­gan­tic, caus­ing rail cars to ex­plode and killing 47 peo­ple. It was the dead­li­est non-pas­sen­ger train ac­ci­dent in Cana­dian his­tory. It also re­sulted in 1.5 mil­lion gal­lons of oil spilling, and cost about $150 mil­lion to clean up and re­build

Vol­ume fore­casts

In the decade fol­low­ing 2003, oil-by-rail ship­ments jumped 166 per cent, with rail ca­pac­ity for crude be­tween Al­berta and the U.S. Great Plains tripling in 2011 alone, to 300,000 bar­rels per day. When the U.S. blocked con­struc­tion of Key­stone XL, it was es­ti­mated that rail ship­ments in Canada would in­crease by 42 per cent by 2017

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