Houston, 2 August (Argus) — CIT Rail, the third largest railcar lessor in North America, has ordered 3,000 tanker cars to meet the demand for moving increasing volumes of heavy crude and natural gas liquids (NGLs) by rail.
The order was placed with multiple manufacturers and deliveries are expected to begin in 2014.
CIT said in June that it had ordered 3,500 railcars with deliveries scheduled throughout this year and next. Those orders were for various tanker car models that support transportation of products across the oil and gas sector, as well as for covered hoppers that support the expanding North American plastic resin industry, which has benefitted from low natural gas prices.
The company, an arm of transportation finance company CIT Group, said its latest order brings total ordered railcars since the start of 2011 to $1.8bn.
Railing of crude and drilling materials has boomed alongside greater onshore drilling in the US and Canada, where producers have turned to trains to move landlocked crude and bring in supplies such as fracturing sand. US refiners have also invested in or are studying infrastructure projects to take price-advantaged crude by rail.
The number of railcars hauling crude and petroleum products jumped 38pc on the year to 241,000, transporting roughly 927,000 b/d of liquids, during the first half of 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
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