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Canadian Pacific train derails in US, spilling crude

03.27.2013  | 

CP crews are on the scene, and the spill is being contained. The derailment comes amid a surge in rail-shipped oil across North America, as US and Canadian production booms. That has heightened scrutiny over the safety of transporting increasing quantities of crude on the continent's railroads.

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By CAROLINE VAN HASSELT

TORONTO -- A Canadian Pacific Railway train, bound for Chicago and carrying Canadian crude, derailed in western Minnesota Wednesday, spilling some of its load.

The amount of oil spilled initially appears to be small, involving some of the contents of just four rail cars, the company said. CP also said the spill had been contained and no injuries were reported.

Still, the derailment comes amid a surge in rail-shipped oil across North America, as US and Canadian production booms. That has heightened scrutiny over the safety of transporting increasing quantities of crude on the continent's railroads.

Ed Greenberg, a CP spokesman, said 14 cars of a 94-car train derailed near Parkers Prairie, Minn. There were no injuries and no public safety issues.

Four of the 14 derailed cars were ruptured, spilling some crude oil, he said. The company didn't have an immediate estimate for the amount of oil spilled.

CP crews are on the scene, and the spill is being contained, he said. The cause of the derailment, which occurred at 7 a.m. central time, is as yet unknown, Mr. Greenberg said.

The Otter Tail County sheriff's office said it was investigating.

The train originated from the Canadian province of Alberta. Amid a surge in Canadian oil output and a lack of pipeline capacity out of the landlocked province, producers and refiners have increasingly turned to rail as an alternative way of shipping oil to market.

Peters & Co., a Calgary consultancy, recently estimated that rail shipments of western Canadian crude have leapt some 150%, to some 150,000 bpd in the last eight months.

US producers and refiners, meanwhile, have also turned to railroads to make up for a lack of pipeline capacity out of the US Midwest, where growing shale-oil production has triggered a glut of crude.


Dow Jones Newswires



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