TransCanada may ship more oil by rail

TransCanada Corp. says it will likely begin shipping Canadian crude oil by rail.

Shawn Howard, a spokesperson for the Canadian pipeline company, said negotiations are underway with customers who are looking for ways to move crude using alternate modes of transportation.

Until now, TransCanada has shipped crude exclusively through pipelines.

Delays in pipeline approvals have prompted the company and its competitors to look for other ways to move product into the U.S. market.

Rail is the most obvious option.

“Our customers prefer to move larger volumes of oil by (pipeline) because it’s more efficient, it’s safer and it produces fewer emission … but in the absence of (pipeline) approvals, they are moving the product using other means,” Howard said Feb. 5.

Howard declined to offer specifics on how much crude TransCanada might move by rail or when rail shipments might begin, but he confirmed that discussions are underway with customers.

New transload facilities are being considered at an undisclosed number of western Canadian locations, he added.

TransCanada has crude oil storage facilities in Hardisty, Alta., near Edmonton.

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