While there are several ways to transport crude oil from the wellheads to refineries and storage facilities, oil producers are increasingly turning to the trucking industry to safely and reliably get the job done. In fact, the need to transport crude oil over-the-road has been steadily on the rise in North America since 2018, with energy experts predicting we’ll see an even large demand as we move further into 2020. For example, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an estimated 100,000 tanker trucks solely dedicated to hauling crude will need to transport over 111 million barrels this year in order to keep pace with production rates.
This shift in transportation methods is driven by a variety of factors. Let’s examine a few:
- Thanks to a dramatic increase in production levels from the numerous shale formations spread across North America – including The Bakken, Permian Basin and Eagle Ford – crude oil production is booming. As a result, there are more wellheads located in remote areas of the country that are not accessible by pipeline or rail networks. Because tanker trucks simply make use of existing road infrastructure located near the production areas, they make an excellent transportation alternative when production areas lack pipeline or rail infrastructure.
- Despite the increase in oil production, the number of refineries is decreasing, and those that do exist are being concentrated in fewer places. This means that crude has to be moved across much longer distances than ever before. For long-distance transportation of crude, tank trucks have become one of the safest and most reliable methods for quickly traveling longer distances. Additionally, there simply aren’t enough pipelines, water vessels and railcars to meet the demand.
- Pipeline capacity has also become a particular problem in North America, which has created bottlenecks. This has left many oil companies scrambling to complete pipeline projects. However, environmental concerns surrounding pipelines have become a hot button issue, with many communities calling for the shutdown of pipelines and a moratorium on new pipeline construction. When pipelines are operating at capacity, tanker trucks provide an excellent transportation alternative because they offer operational flexibility without the need to develop new infrastructure.
As the use of tanker trucks continues to rise, it will begin to add more stress to a trucking industry that’s already under tremendous pressure due to driver shortages and environmental regulations. As the industry reels to keep up, truck equipment will also begin to pay a toll for such a demand. Luckily, companies that specialize in the production of tank truck equipment, such as Civacon, are poised to answer the call.
Civacon offers the most complete line of tank-truck products for all your crude-oil shipping applications. These products include internal valves, vent valves, butterfly valves, manholes and API adaptors. All of these products have been designed and constructed to Civacon’s exacting standards and they deliver the highest level of engineering, dependability and performance, while also ensuring maximum safety in the transportation, loading and unloading of crude. Click here to learn more about Civacon product offerings.