Canadian rail strike could affect flow of crude through Oklahoma

U.S. railroads push against oil industry demands for storage in rail cars |  Reuters


As thousands of rail workers in Canada threatened a strike that could affect the amount of crude oil carried by rail south through Oklahoma and other states, some Republican senators want Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step in and settle things.

Without a Keystone XL pipeline, a line eliminated by President Biden on his first day in office, the oil and gas industry resorted to moving an estimated 140,000 barrels a day by rail to transport the crude out of Canada and down to the Gulf coast refineries.

But workers at Canada’s second-biggest railway, Canadian Pacific Railway planned to strike this week over wages, benefits and pensions. Earlier in March, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference said more than 96% of its members voted in support of a work stoppage at the Calgary-based railway. The strike was set to begin immediately after midnight on March 16.


Four U.S. Senators, Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven of North Dakota, Steve Daines of Montana and Mike Braun of Indiana wrote Trudeau saying if the strike isn’t settled, it could stall needed oil.

They claimed that “shutting down North America’s essential rail supply chain would create a freight capacity crisis.”

“Without the ability to move heavy Canadian crude, fuel supply shortages will be exacerbated and agricultural producers who rely on diesel to power their equipment will be forced to pay even higher fuel costs,” the lawmakers declared.