Another Petroleum Train Explosion - Call your Congressmen!

[U][B]Another tragedy[/B][/U] that could have been averted by a stronger Jones Act! Call your Congressmen and tell them so!

[U][B]Mile-long train carrying crude oil derails, explodes in North Dakota[/B][/U]


“A fireball erupts at the site of an oil train derailment on Monday in Casselton, N.D.”

[B][I]By Daniella Silva, NBC News[/I][/B]

A mile-long train carrying crude oil has derailed and exploded, triggering a “giant fireball” after colliding with another train in North Dakota on Monday.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office said on Monday night that it was “strongly recommending” that residents in the town of Casselton and anyone living five miles to the south and east evacuate to shelters set up in Fargo, which is about 25 miles away. Casselton has about 2,400 residents.

The sheriff’s office said the National Weather Service was forecasting a shift in the winds that would push the plume of smoke down, possibly posing a health risk. Earlier, authorities had advised nearby residents to shelter inside their homes.

The freight train carrying crude oil hit another train hauling grain that had derailed on Monday afternoon, causing an explosion and sending flames shooting more than 100 feet into the air. No injuries were immediately reported.

Authorities said local emergency crews responding to reports of a derailment discovered the oil train burning, with up to 10 cars fully engulfed.

“There was an explosion, where a car let loose and there was a giant fireball, hundreds of feet in the air,” said Assistant Chief Gary Lorenz of the City of Fargo Fire Department, who was in touch with a crew on the scene.
“It’s burning very strong right now,” he added. “You can see the plume of smoke for 25 miles.”


“Smoke rises from a derailed train near Casselton, N.D., on Monday.”

The collision occurred at a street intersection just before 2:20 p.m., when the westbound BNSF Railway train carrying grain derailed and was then hit by the eastbound train carrying oil, Cecily Fong, a public information officer with North Dakota Emergency Services, told NBCChicago.com. Both trains were owned by BNSF, she said.

Amy McBeth, a spokeswoman for BNSF Railway, confirmed the collision but said she could provide no additional details.

Fong said the train carrying grain was approximately 111 cars long and crews were able to get the unaffected cars separated from the burning wreckage and moved out of the way.

Fong said the Federal Aviation Administration was putting flight restrictions in place over the area due to the smoke.

Kevin Thompson, a Federal Railroad Administration spokesman, told NBC News that the agency was sending investigators to the scene.

“The Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration have investigative teams en route to North Dakota and will work in concert with the National Transportation Safety Board, the lead investigator, to ascertain all the relevant facts that may have contributed to the accident,” he said.

While I agree with you that we need a stronger Jones Act, I do not see what this has to do with that? They still need to get the Crude to the port so until they get off of their asses and build pipelines they will have to use the rail lines.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;127264]Another tragedy that could have been averted by a stronger Jones Act! Call your Congressmen and tell them so![/QUOTE]

Yeah man … let’s build an oil terminal in North Dakota to take that oil from the Bakken Shale fields and send it via the Trans-Rockies Canal to Seattle on surplus TAPS tankers. Or would you prefer they use ATBs on the rivers?

That one is right up there with your yacht industry fantasy.

[QUOTE=Steamer;127268]Yeah man … let’s build an oil terminal in North Dakota to take that oil from the Bakken Shale fields and send it via the Trans-Rockies Canal to Seattle on surplus TAPS tankers. Or would you prefer they use ATBs on the rivers?

That one is right up there with your yacht industry fantasy.[/QUOTE]

What are you, stalking me? Give it a rest pal. Anyway congressmen don’t know you can’t get a tanker into North Dakota, they’re not that smart.

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[QUOTE=Tugs;127267]While I agree with you that we need a stronger Jones Act, I do not see what this has to do with that? They still need to get the Crude to the port so until they get off of their asses and build pipelines they will have to use the rail lines.[/QUOTE]

Yes, this did in fact occur somewhere far inland where ships cannot go, but the fact is that this is another in a long line of train accidents that have occurred in the last two years or so. The argument to be made here for the Jones Act is that train transportation is not reliable and should be phased out in other areas where it is being used instead of ships and/or barges. It’s really not that difficult of an argument to see.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;127270]What are you, stalking me?[/QUOTE]

Don’t flatter yourself. I just enjoy poking sticks at fools and today seems to be your day for being foolish.

[QUOTE=lm1883;127288]There is talk of using vessels to export crude off the lakes.

http://www.canadians.org/content/calumet-plugging-away-permits-great-lakes-oil-shipments

Of course, it’s only talk, but there is a very real problem delivering the product to the coasts.[/QUOTE]

I knew somebody would get it eventually…

Those slamming you kinda jumped the gun I would say.

[QUOTE=AB Murph;127303]Those slamming you kinda jumped the gun I would say.[/QUOTE]

Oh yeah, we missed the North Dakota/Lake Superior Tanker Canal project entirely …:rolleyes:

The accident was a train that wrecked between its origin in North Dakota and (probably) Delaware. The Jones Act didn’t cause the wreck and it couldn’t prevent it either.

[QUOTE=lm1883;127374]Had there been more marine utilization, a Quebecois town might not have been wiped off the map not too long ago. I believe this is the third big rail accident involving western crude.
Couple that with the lack of pipeline capacity and inevitable rail congestion, alternatives will be explored. It is questionable as to what role Jones Act tankers would play as most of that traffic would go to Canada on Canadian tankers. The western rivers are probably the big winners here.[/QUOTE]

Exactly. I completely agree with Steamer in that the Jones Act does not reach directly into the affairs of North Dakota, and until someone with too much time and money on their hands builds a ship canal directly from the lakes into the heart of N.D., it never will. However to think that events like these that do not directly connect cannot precipitate other things into our industry is entirely incorrect. What happened in North Dakota was by no means a good thing and it should never have happened, but whatever it was, it was still an argument in favor of our industry.

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[QUOTE=Steamer;127311]Oh yeah, we missed the North Dakota/Lake Superior Tanker Canal project entirely …:rolleyes:

The accident was a train that wrecked between its origin in North Dakota and (probably) Delaware. The Jones Act didn’t cause the wreck and it couldn’t prevent it either.[/QUOTE]

If it was in fact headed for Delaware, I know that’s just speculation but since you threw it out there I’ll make use of it, but if that was really where it was headed for, then what’s to stop someone from shipping it over water via the great lakes instead, if that’s the safer option? The water route would be many times longer and more expensive but that’s a separate issue, I’m talking about the difference of safety in train transportation vs. water transportation.

[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;127376]

If it was in fact headed for Delaware, I know that’s just speculation but since you threw it out there I’ll make use of it, but if that was really where it was headed for, then what’s to stop someone from shipping it over water via the great lakes instead, if that’s the safer option? The water route would be many times longer and more expensive but that’s a separate issue, I’m talking about the difference of safety in train transportation vs. water transportation.[/QUOTE]

What’s to stop it? You answered your own question. Money. It would take a catastrophe much larger than the recent runaway train in Quebec, which killed what, 50 people? to change things. And of course, use of the Lakes is seasonal anyway…but petroleum is needed 24/7.

[QUOTE=lm1883;127288]There is talk of using vessels to export crude off the lakes.

http://www.canadians.org/content/calumet-plugging-away-permits-great-lakes-oil-shipments

Of course, it’s only talk, but there is a very real problem delivering the product to the coasts.[/QUOTE]

Interesting articles.

Bakken oil is (or was) being shipped by rail to Albany, and then shipped by tanker to Irving’s Saint John refinery. Remember the tanker grounding in the Hudson?

Advice to Obama: Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline now. Do NOT prove to Canada that the US is an unreliable energy trading partner and force them into the arms of the Chinese.

Advice to Stephen Harper: The States have proven to be an unreliable energy trading partner (Of course I’m only stating the obvious). Build your new Great Lakes tar sands oil export terminal at Thunder Bay (not in Superior) so that you can avoid nothing but more problems in the US.

[QUOTE=lm1883;127414]There is no existing pipeline to Thunder Bay that I am aware of. Duluth / Superior is on the Lakehead pipeline system, has a large Burlington-Northern rail yard, and has a refinery. Building infrastructure like that to TB will be tricky because if all the wetlands it must pass through and recent spills.

It would be nice to see the crude short lined to the American port then trans-shipped by water. Marine is safer than rail and I guess Minnesota is closer to Alberta than Albany.[/QUOTE]

Ok, I clearly left out some detail in my original post because I thought a lot of this would have been obvious, and for that the members of gCaptain have my sincerest apologies, but is all of this really that difficult to surmise? Thank you Im1883 for extrapolating where I fell short of doing so. I owe you a beer :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=lm1883;127414]There is no existing pipeline to Thunder Bay that I am aware of. Duluth / Superior is on the Lakehead pipeline system, has a large Burlington-Northern rail yard, and has a refinery. Building infrastructure like that to TB will be tricky because if all the wetlands it must pass through and recent spills.

It would be nice to see the crude short lined to the American port then trans-shipped by water. Marine is safer than rail and I guess Minnesota is closer to Alberta than Albany.[/QUOTE]

That is interesting about the existing pipelines and infrastructure. I’m not too familiar with pipelines. I realize that Canada has its own tribe of eco-freaks that are raising hell about building the pipeline that they really need from Fort Mac to Kitimat. Maybe it would be the same story in Thunder Bay. Western Ontario is empty of just everything, except an overabundance of wetlands. With more land area than the US and only 1/10th the population, I think Canada can afford to fill a few more wetlands in order to get their energy to market.

Actually, I do not understand why they would not want to build the refineries close to the oil source and then ship out value added gasoline and petro products, rather than just sending out their syn-crude which is not getting a fair price in the market. Tar sands syn-crude will always be an evil product that is disfavored in the marketplace, but gasoline is a fungible product that would bring fair market value.

I just fear that the US eco-freaks would hold up a terminal in Superior based on tar sands carbon emissions the same way they have held up the Keystone pipeline. The eco-freaks simply don’t want any tar sands produced oil going anywhere because of its higher production CO2 emissions.

A big portion of that Albany oil goes right down the river to bayway as well. Thoughts were smaller ships or ATB’s…the Meredith and Craig Reinauer have been on that run quite a bit as well, I think the Lincoln sea too.