In the midst of these rapid changes, senior executives and boards of oil companies need to better understand the evolving risks they face when shipping crude oil by rail – be they operational, strategic, financial, or reputational. To that end, Oliver Wyman believes that there are ten questions that oil company decision makers must ask and answer surrounding the transport of crude oil by rail. While not all of the issues addressed by these questions are within shipper control, understanding them is critical to illuminate potential risks and liabilities.
The safety of transporting crude oil by rail has been increasingly in the spotlight, due to more than half a dozen incidents involving railcars carrying crude oil. The result has been ongoing changes to improve safety, including new regulations, new rail operating practices, and new design standards for tank cars.