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Crude shipments by railcars on steady decline in 2016

StatsCan reports they have dropped every month since January


CALGARY — The latest data from Statistics Canada show a steady decline in the number of railcars loaded with fuel and crude oil this year.

The May statistics reveal the total number of railcars used to ship oil dropped by a third compared with last year to 6,566, as the wildfire hazard in Fort McMurray, Alta., reduced output from the oil sands by more than a million barrels a day.

Crude-by-rail has, however, dropped every month since January, both compared with the previous month and the same month the year before.

At the outset of the year, January had a 22% decline from 2015 to 11,808 railcars.

More recently, April experienced a 16% from 2015 to 10,416 railcars.

National Energy Board data, which reports only exports of crude-by-rail, show declines for the first three months of the year, but an uptick in April after especially low exports in the month last year.

Each railcar can carry between 600 to 700 barrels of light oil, or 500 to 525 barrels of heavy oil.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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