Crude-by-rail export capacity continues to expand as Ottawa tightens transport regulations

Crude-by-rail export capacity continues to expand as Ottawa tightens transport regulations

Houston-based USD Partners (USDP) has begun work to expand its crude-by-rail loading terminal in Hardisty, AB. Once completed, capacity will increase by 50% to roughly 225,000 bbl/day. Estimated costs for the expansion were not disclosed, but the company says the work should be completed by the end of the year.

USDP's Hardisty crude-by-rail loading facility is integrated with Gibson Energy's storage terminal and CP Rail's North Main Line, providing access to refineries across North America.

The federal government now says CPC-1232 rail cars carrying crude must be phased out by November 1st, 17 months earlier than originally planned. DOT-111 and CPC-1232 tanks transporting condensate and other highly volatile flammable liquids must be phased out by January 1st, more than six years ahead of schedule.

DOT-111 tank cars, which were involved in the 2013 Lac-Mégantic disaster, have not been used in crude oil service since November 2016. However, there are 21,367 unjacketed CPC-1232 tank cars still in circulation in Canada.

Transport Canada has since updated its Protective Direction No. 39, reflecting the new dates.

Last June, a record 361,000 bbl/day of crude oil and petroleum products were transported in Canada by rail, with more than two-thirds destined for export to US refineries.

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