ELI Primary Menu

Skip to main content

Methods of Crude Oil Transport: Relative Risks and Benefits


May 7, 2014


Washington, DC (and via teleconference)

An ELI Research Seminar

As America’s oil and natural gas boom spreads across the country, producers are finding it difficult to get oil from the wells to market. Pipeline capacity is limited, and shipping crude by rail has raised concerns in the media.

What are the relative risks and merits of different methods of shipping crude oil long distance? Rail, ship, and pipeline each have pros and cons, risks and benefits.

Our panel of experts explored the regulatory realm of each option. Without demonizing any form of transport, the session raised dawareness about the complex trade-offs between these options, when they are options.

John J. Jablonski, Partner, Goldberg Segalla (moderator)
George “Casey” Hopkins, Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP
Michaela E. Noble, Chief, Environmental Law Division, Office of Maritime and International Law, United States Coast Guard/The Judge Advocate General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Connie S. Roseberry, General Attorney, Union Pacific Railroad Company
Anthony Swift, Staff Attorney, International Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

Reference Materials:
The Oil & Gas Industry: Transportation & Storage, Library of Congress Business Reference Services (July 2013)
Transporting Crude Oil in New York State: A Review of Incident Prevention and Response Capacity, April 3, 2014 (Note: 138-page document)
With Increased Federal Scrutiny, State Governments Look To Expand Oil-By-Rail Oversight, Mineral Law Blog by Stoel Rives LLP
U.S. DOT Issues Emergency Orders Regarding Shipments of Bakken Crude Oil, Beveridge & Diamond, May 8, 2014
Government Acts to Address Safety of Rail Shipments of Bakken Crude, Vinson & Elkins, May 8, 2014