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Oil industry stalls at sharing crucial rail data: U.S. regulator


(Reuters) — The oil industry has failed to share important data on oil-by-rail shipments that may help regulators prevent future mishaps, a leading U.S. Department of Transportation regulator said on Tuesday.

Cynthia Quarterman, chief of the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, specifically cited the American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s top lobbying group, for not keeping its promise to share data about oil-by-rail shipments.

“More than two months ago, we received assurances from the industry that the safe transport of crude oil across the country was a top priority and, to that end, API would begin sharing important testing data,” she said in a statement.

“To date, that data has not been shared.”

In a January letter, the API promised to “share expertise and testing information” about oil-by-rail shipments by the end of February.

Regulators are particularly concerned about fuel produced in North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch which was the source of several oil-by-rail shipments that have exploded with uncommon force.