Rail Vs. Pipeline? It’s Bigger Than That

UH Energy Debate on Nation’s Energy Infrastructure to Focus on the Big Picture

As the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline continues, the UH Energy Symposium Series will host a debate about the larger issue of the nation’s energy infrastructure on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Often couched as pipelines vs. rail, the issue is broader, said chief energy officer Ramanan Krishnamoorti. And all of the options carry tradeoffs.

There are 2.3 million miles of pipelines in the United States, responsible for moving 70 percent of all hydrocarbons throughout the country. But the nation’s pipeline system is aging, and many of the new shale plays are in areas far from existing pipeline networks, as well as far from cities where demand for the energy they produce is greatest. 

The number of railcars moving crude oil has grown exponentially, but still accounts for just a small fraction of crude oil transportation. Tanker trucks and barges also are used to move oil and gas.

 “It’s much more complicated than just Keystone,” Krishnamoorti said. “Irrespective of which way you transport it, there will be tradeoffs. There are decisions we have to make. There are technologies that can raise the level of safety.”

 Practices in use elsewhere in the world could help the United States make better decisions regarding the movement of hydrocarbons and should be part of the debate, he said.

 A four-minute video introducing the topic is available at: http://www.uh.edu/uh-energy/features/symposium-series/   The debate will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the University Center Theater on the UH campus. It is free and open to the public.


WHAT:                             America’s Energy Transportation Infrastructure: Is it Safe? Speakers include Charles

                                         Esser, oil market analyst in the Oil Industries and Markets Division of the International

                                         Energy Agency; Steve Magness, a partner in Cogent Energy Solutions, LLC, a crude oil,

                                         condensate and refined products distribution and marketing business; and Carl Weimer,

                                         executive director of the Pipeline Safety Trust.


WHEN:                             5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11.


WHERE:                          UH University Center Theater. (Entrance 1 off Calhoun Drive.) Parking in the Welcome

                                        Center garage.

                                        Map: http://www.uh.edu/maps/


MEDIA CONTACT:         Jeannie Kever, 713-743-0778, 713-504-3769 – m, jekever@uh.edu.