News bites: Deadly rail accident fuels oil transit, Keystone questions

The Associated Press reports on Saturday’s deadly derailment of a train carrying crude oil in Canada.

“A Quebec town devastated when a runaway oil tanker train ignited explosions and fires braced Monday for what authorities assured would be a rising death toll as fire crews tried to reach the hardest hit areas more than two days after the disaster. Five were dead and about 40 people remained missing,” the news service reports.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the accident “threatens to ratchet up scrutiny of rising crude-by-rail shipments on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border.”

“In both countries, shipments of crude by rail have shot up sharply, as producers race to get all their new oil to market and as pipeline companies scramble to build new lines or reconfigure old ones to handle the growing volumes,” the paper reports.

The New York Times and other outlets note that the accident could affect debate over the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

“The derailment and explosions, which took place around 1:15 a.m. on Saturday, underscored a debate in the effort to transport North America’s oil across long distances: Is it safer and less environmentally destructive to move huge quantities of crude oil by train or by pipeline?” the Times reports.

In other news, Reuters looks at how the Egyptian turmoil is affecting oil prices.

The Houston Chronicle has the latest on the legal battle over monetary claims from the 2010 BP oil spill.