In the first quarter of 2014, the United States surpassed both Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. It already hit that mark for natural gas late last year. All of that oil and gas has to be transported from the fields where it’s drilled to refineries and processing plants, and most of that is done by pipeline, but the nation’s pipeline infrastructure isn’t currently up to the task.
Hundreds of thousands of tank cars full of crude oil snake across the nation each year, and the number is only increasing. In the last five years, the number has jumped 14-fold. Along with that, there’s been an increased number of accidents, derailments and spills.
In the wake of recent derailments and explosions of crude oil trains, state officials will start receiving information about when those trains are moving through their states. The federal Department of Transportation issued an emergency order in early May, requiring the railroads to share information with states about the routing of any shipments of Bakken crude oil over a million gallons. It goes into effect Saturday.
For forty years the U-S has banned the export of most all crude oil. Matt Laslo reports a new debate is raging in Washington over whether to end the ban.
MATT LASLO: The U-S banned crude oil exports after the Arab oil embargo of 1973. It’s been in place since, which has negatively impacted global oil prices. Wyoming Republican Senator John Barrasso says he’s ready to lift the ban.
Current regulations are inadequate for monitoring and controlling oil and gas development, according to a new report from a coalition of western resource councils. In particular, the report focuses on the potential problems surrounding treatment and disposal of produced water, the contaminated water that's pulled up along with oil in the drilling process.
Gas prices are up across the Rocky Mountain States as Canadian oil costs increase. Although this means that prices in Wyoming are back to more than $3.00 per gallon, Wyoming drivers are still paying less than the national average.
It’s a good time to fill up in Wyoming, especially if you live in Laramie—which boasts the lowest gas prices in the nation, at $2.47. The state average is $2.83, which is about two and a half dollars less than the national average. That’s according to gasbuddy.com, which collects data from volunteer price spotters around the country.
Gas Buddy Senior Petroleum Analyst, Patrick DeHaan says Wyoming’s location, low taxes, and prolific refineries contribute to the low prices.