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EIA: Rail delivered 52 percent of East Coast refinery supply in February


Crude oil delivered by rail accounted for more than half — 52 percent — of crude oil delivered to East Coast refineries in February, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced yesterday.

As U.S. and Canadian production of crude oil has increased, the transportation of the oil by rail to the East Coast — known by EIA as Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) 1 — has displaced waterborne imports of crude oil from countries other than Canada, such as Nigeria, EIA officials said in their latest "Today in Energy" brief.

Although refinery utilization in PADD 1 in early 2015 has been below typical levels, the February data indicated the first time crude delivery by rail has accounted for such a high percentage of East Coast refinery supply, EIA officials said.

Much of the crude moved by rail comes from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and eastern Montana. Bakken crude supplied by rail to U.S. East Coast refineries, along with U.S. crude production supplied by marine vessels from the Gulf Coast, has reduced demand for foreign oil at East Coast refineries, EIA officials said.

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