Posted by Big Gav in shale oil
One unpleasant side effect of the shale oil boom in North Dakota and the massive rise in using rail to move the oil across the US has been the alarming increase in disasters involving oil filled trains (the Lac-Mégantic disaster being the worst example). The Guardian has a report on the latest incident - North Dakota oil train crash sparks fireball.
A BNSF train carrying crude oil in North Dakota has collided with another train, setting off a series of explosions that left at least 10 cars ablaze, the latest in a string of incidents that have raised alarms over growing oil-by-rail traffic.
Local residents heard five powerful explosions just a mile outside of the small town of Casselton after a westbound train carrying soybeans derailed and an eastbound 104-car train hauling crude oil ran into it just after 2pm local time on Monday, officials said. There were no reports of any injuries. ...
Trains carried nearly 700,000 barrels a day of North Dakota oil to market in October, a 67% jump from a year earlier, according to the state Pipeline Authority.
This summer a runaway oil train carrying Bakken crude derailed and exploded in the centre of the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people. The incident fuelled a drive for tougher standards for such shipments, including potentially costly retrofits to improve the safety of tank cars that regulators have cited as prone to puncture.
In early November two dozen cars on another 90-car oil train derailed in rural Alabama, erupting into flames that took several days to fully extinguish.