Record levels of crude by rail reported in Canada


Canada is moving more oil by rail than ever before according to the country’s National Energy Board which reported a record high in December.

The Board indicated Canada exported 354,000 barrels per day of oil which was 7 percent higher than the November total of 330,400 bpd.  It was nearly twice as much as the 152,000 bpd moved by rail in December 2017.

In the past week, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced the province will invest $3.7 billion to move up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day by rail by 2020 under deals with Canada’s two major railways.

Initial daily shipments of 20,000 barrels are expected to begin as early as July.

Full export pipelines have been blamed for a glut of oil in Western Canada last fall that led to large discounts for bitumen-blend Western Canadian Select crude compared with New York benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil.

Those differentials narrowed in early December when Alberta announced it would impose crude oil production curtailments starting Jan. 1.

Some producers have complained that the lower differentials make crude-by-rail shipments less profitable.

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