What is happening: Crude oil is back on the US railroads due to restricted pipeline capacity.
Return: This marks a return to crude-by-rail transport, a sector that completely collapsed in the wake of multiple accidents.
Numbers: Railroads in North America handled 718,000 barrels of crude oil on average per day in October. This was up 88% from 2017. The peak average was in 2014, with the figure at 1.1 million. Traffic is up 25% across US railroads in the first few weeks of 2019.
Cost: Although rail is a more expensive option than pipelines, it doesn’t lag behind oil and gas production growth in the same way.
Production: Oil production in NA was at 15.6 million barrels a day in August. That was up 17% from 2017.