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Canadian crude by rail exports climb 48 per cent in October

crude by rail

Canadian crude by rail shipments have dropped off since the price of oil slumped, however, analysts expect rail volumes to increase in 2017. Reuters photo by Rick Wilking.

Crude by rail volumes down to four-year low in June

By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Canadian crude by rail exports to the United States rose 48 per cent in October versus the previous month, National Energy Board data showed on Wednesday, as volumes recovered from a steep slump earlier in the year.

Canada shipped 102,554 barrels per day of crude by rail in October, up from 69,292 b/d the previous month.

However, the October total was still 39 per cent lower than the volume shipped the same month a year earlier.

Crude by rail shipments in Canada have fallen off sharply since peaking at around 180,000 b/d in late 2014 due to weak global crude prices and sufficient takeaway capacity on Canadian export pipelines.

Volumes dwindled to four-year lows of around 43,000 b/d in June this year but with production from northern Alberta’s oil sands expected to climb and limited space on pipelines, some analysts expect crude by rail to pick up again.

“If you just look at the supply growth we are anticipating this year and you consider the takeaway capacity I think we will see rail volumes increase throughout 2017,” said ARC Financial analyst Jackie Forrest.

Crude oil output from western Canada is forecast to increase by around 230,000 b/d this year.

(Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Diane Craft)

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