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Bakken shipper argues rail is the way to ship crude

Lydia Gilbertson | Shale Plays Media Google+

On Monday Eric Slifka, the head of a Bakken crude-by-rail shipping company, explained why he thinks rail transportation is the best choice for crude shipments. Slifka thinks that pipelines cost too much money and take too much time to build. He also argues that fewer oil spills happen with trains than with pipelines.

Roll Call reports:

“[Railroads] will provide the foundation necessary to access a multitude of markets, from a multitude of locations, with a multitude of products. Rails offer flexibility, optionality, rapid transit, market penetration, all the while requiring low levels of capital.”

He also assured the Energy Department’s Energy Information Agency that railroads and oil shippers will “make the necessary investments in safety.”

Read more of Tom Curry’s article: Railraods, Not Pipelines, Are the Future for Crude, Argues Bakken Shipper

Related: Casting call for Bakken reality show this weekend


  1. Pipeline are safer, and can provide a cheaper operating cost once construction fees are removed

  2. IMHO there is some truth here. However the pipelines are more effiecient and cost effective in the long term. I think there will always be a mix of transportation.

    However, this arguement is the short term mentality of modern buisness world where infrustructure is too slow and might hold up production, it is the same arguement that has companies flaring 30% of the associated gas. Short term cash over long term stability usually hurts the consumer.

    The second problem is the displacement of product from the rails. As the rails clog up with oil other products will be displaced either by truck or paying higher prices to get the same rail space.

  3. How many high profile derailment have we seen in the past couple of years seems like pipe lines would be less polluting safer and cause less bad press

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