The growing influence of environmental and citizen groups is being felt in an increase of constraints at the local level on the shipment of liquid energy products by pipeline. Railroads, however, fall outside of the scope of such local efforts.
The NGL storage hub at Hattiesburg, MI was a key destination for rail shipments of propane that were diverted from the shutdown of Sunoco Pipeline’s ME1 pipeline in March and April. The PA Public Utilities Commission ordered the line shut in early March.
Tank car sublease rates were mixed this week in quiet trading action. Demand for tank cars is generally sluggish across the board, market sources report.
The AAR this week filed comments with the FRA and the PHMSA, saying that emerging automated technologies make it possible to build a transport future free of human error. The AAR wrote that cybersecurity risk “is a challenge, but not an obstacle, to autonomous rail operations.”
The focus on crude by rail -- again -- has disrupted the tank car market. The ripples are washing into the pressure car market.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank car sublease rates were somewhat higher as reduction in rail congestion in Canada and a surge of crude shipments continues to be seen..
Loaded LPG tank car moves slipped in April from March as the winter heating season wrapped up. Total loaded LPG tank car moves fell 5.4% in April from March, according to a sampling of tank car moves compiled by Energy Transport Insider.
Current projections for propane inventory accumulation suggest the U.S. will have less than 60 days of supply by the start of the 2018-2019 winter heating season.
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank car sublease rates were little changed this week, with some tempering in DOT-117 tank car rates after a report of transactions all the way up to the $1,000-mark last week.
The chance the U.S. will be undersupplied with propane and butane next winter appears to be increasing, and summer storage intentions are the same to less than last year.
Construction work remains halted on part of Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2 (ME2) natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline following a public hearing held April 30 in Pennsylvania for discussion of the project.
Longer-term LPG tank car sublease rates moved slightly higher in the latest week, as a refinery accident and continued delays in the Mariner East (ME) natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline project were a focus.
Shipper and rail industry experts shared with Energy Transport Insider strategies rail customers can use to improve their bargaining position even if it seems the deck is stacked in the railroad’s favor.
Because Canada’s crude oil pipelines are full, shipping crude by rail “has become a necessity in order to deal with the production glut,” wrote analysts with Desjardins Energy Research in a recent research paper.
Tank car sublease rates were little changed this week as the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry continued to work through the final details of the 2018-2019 contract season.
Quick quiz: Which two U.S. carriers hauled the most LPG in 2017?
When the ME2 NGL pipeline opens this year, propane and butane production from the Marcellus and Utica shales is likely to be diverted to the pipeline. This will leave consumers looking for alternate sources of supply. One place they may look to is Conway, Kansas.
Near-term rail tank car sublease rates were up slightly this week, as climbing crude prices and planning for coming days seemed to take center stage despite a bumpy start to spring weather.
In response to shipper complaints, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in March asked all seven Class 1 railroads operating in the U.S. to report on their operational plans for 2018. A late March letter from UP CEO Lance Fritz and early April letter from KCS CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer both specifically mentioned slowdowns in the Houston area.
ME2 is still in the news, with questions still outstanding as to the timing of its opening. The Surface Transportation Board wants the major railroads to report on how they will fix operational issues in 2018. New England is seeing some upgrades of propane terminal facilities. And the outlook for tank car leases.