Cathy Proctor – Reporter-Denver Business Journal – March 30, 2015
About 64 percent of the crude oil produced in the Niobrara formation, the rock layer at the center of Colorado’s oil boom, gets to market via railroad tank cars, according to a new analysis by the federal Energy Information Administration.
The EIA on Monday said it would start providing monthly data on how much crude oil moves around the nation via rail, in addition to information about pipeline, tanker and barge crude-oil traffic.
“The new crude-by-rail data provides a clearer picture on a mode of oil transportation that has experienced rapid growth in recent years and is of great interest to policy makers, the public, and industry,” said Adam Sieminski, EIA’s administrator.
Sieminski said the EIA will use information from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board as well as information from third-party sources and its own survey data to build the crude-by-rail reports.
The new information starts in January 2010 through the latest month, January 2015.
Using the nation’s railroad network, in addition to pipelines, has been a key element of the rapid rise of oil production in the U.S., particularly from the Niobrara play — an area focused on northeastern Colorado but also including parts of Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas — and the Bakken play in North Dakota.