August 2017, Vol. 244, No. 8

Features

Pipeline Bottleneck Halts Falling U.S. Oil Imports

The U.S. has seen shale production rebound strongly, continuing a long-running trend towards higher oil production. The shale boom has helped the U.S. slash its import dependence significantly over the past decade or so. But the lack of pipelines reaching the East and West Coasts has slowed the decline of imports. East Coast refiners in particular are still very much reliant on crude imports from abroad. The surge in shale production from the Bakken, for example, came at a time when there was a dearth of pipeline capacity. That led to a flood of oil on the nation’s railways, a more expensive and more dangerous form of transport. Crude-by-rail shipments from the Midwest (which encompasses

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