Barges are being utilized to move Eagle Ford crude oil to refining markets in Houston, New Orleans, and Port Arthur. Kirby Corp, a company that operates inland barges, said yesterday that as many as 140 barges across the U.S. are being used for crude oil. (That’s in all areas and not just the Eagle Ford). The 140 represents a ten-fold increase from a decade ago.
Moving oil on barges had become an almost non-existant business until plays like the Eagle Ford began producing oil in areas without spare pipeline capacity. Without pipelines, you begin looking for the next best thing. Utilization rates for trucks, tanks, and barges are at modern day highs. [Read more…]