Trailer Talk

Refiners Buy Tankers to Ensure Supplies of Better Crude Oil

March 24, 2015

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Photo via Wikipedia Commons
Photo via Wikipedia Commons

Here’s a segment of the tank-trailer business that falls in the something-new category: Refiners are buying trucks to fetch more desirable crude oil than what they’re getting through pipelines. It seems hard-to-refine tar-sands oil from Canada is being blended with lighter crude, and the mixes are inconsistent, more difficult to deal with and less profitable.

One refiner recently bought 200 tank trailers and 120 tractors to carry crude oil and asphalt to its plants in Arkansas and east Texas, said a Reuters article that was carried yesterday by Yahoo News. HDT Editor In Chief Deborah Lockridge asked Don Ake, vice president, commercial vehicles for FTR, the research firm, for comment.

“This explains why the growth in petroleum tankers has been so good,” Ake said. “Some companies do not care about efficiency so they buy more trailers than normal.  There has been some pullback in liquid tankers that we have attributed to lower crude prices.  It may get worse if crude prices stay low."

The Reuters article is here


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Author Bio

Tom Berg

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Senior Contributing Editor

Journalist since 1965, truck writer and editor since 1978. CDL-qualified; conducts road tests on new heavy-, medium- and light-duty tractors and trucks. Specializes in vocational and hybrid vehicles.


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