Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Crude Tank Car Changes from Tesoro & BNSF; Adm. Papp Rues sHellNO

By Reuters | 18 May, 2015

HOUSTON: US refiner Tesoro Corp has ordered new crude oil railcars with features that surpass safety standards that federal regulators set this month, executives told Reuters.

The 210 tank cars being built in northern Louisiana are so-called pressure cars, with the same design as those that carry liquid petroleum gases such as propane and butane, gas cargoes that are more flammable than crude oil.

They will be delivered in the coming months after being ordered in early 2014. 

The new federal rules for all crude and ethanol railcars built after Oct. 1 of this year do not require strength to the level of a pressure car, but are stronger than the standards adopted by the industry in 2011. ….

….Tesoro isn't the only refiner that didn't wait for word from the US DOT to order stronger cars.

Phillips 66 confirmed to Reuters that it also last year ordered 350 non-pressurized new cars that mostly match the new DOT standard. Those cars will be delivered by year-end, the company said. …     more here

Customer concerns prompt BNSF to withdraw plan to buy tank cars

Progressive Railroading  May 19, 2015

BNSF Railway Co. has dropped an earlier announced plan to acquire up to 5,000 next-generation crude-oil tank cars, the Class I said in a recent letter to customers.

Last year, the Class I indicated it would purchase new tank cars to help settle marketplace concerns over crude-by-rail safety. But conversations with customers in recent months convinced BNSF executives to change direction.....

....The decision to drop that plan comes two weeks after the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced its final rule on crude-by-rail safety. The rules require that tank cars built after Oct. 1 must meet design and performance requirements for a new class of tank car, the DOT-117, while existing cars must be retrofitted to meet the new standards. The rule also calls for the replacement of DOT-111 tank cars.
In their letter, Bobb and Fox said BNSF would work with customers to make the transition to the next generation of cars or retrofit cars into shale crude service as soon as practicable.....

..... The executives added that they have concerns about USDOT's mandate for electronically controlled pneumatic brakes....  more here

Note:  what he probably meant was 'effective'!

Shell Arctic oil drilling reaction ‘overblown’ – US envoy

US Admiral Papp this January (Flickr/ Arctic Council)

Admiral Papp says conditional approval to explore polar waters just ‘another step’, as ‘kayaktivists’ protest in Seattle

RTCC      18 May 2015    By Alex Pashley

America’s special representative for the Arctic has said coverage of Shell’s tentative green light to drill in the region has been exaggerated.

“The stories have been a little bit overblown where we are with Shell,” Admiral Robert Papp told reporters in a press call on Monday.

“This is properly Department of Interior business and what they done is approved another step in the process for Shell to drill in the Arctic, not final approval.”

Last week, the federal department cleared the Anglo-Dutch company to restart operations off the coast of Alaska, three years after it was forced to halt them, following a string of safety failures including an oil rig fire.

Bill McKibben founder of 350.org, which has coordinated a global fossil fuel divestment movement said the decision amounted to ”one of the greatest acts of corporate irresponsibility in the planet’s history”.

Green groups have warned of potential spills in the fragile icy conditions without sufficient guards to respond to leaks…..     more here

Info from the Port of Vancouver
From Don Steinke:  The Columbian has done 600 stories on the oil terminal in the last 18 months.

Their latest is a in depth analysis of the culture of secrecy at the Port.

Please vote in the poll in the fourth link.

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