The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Rail Safety: A Core Value of the Oil and Gas Industry

Kate Wallace

Kate Wallace
Posted August 25, 2016

Safety is a core value throughout our entire industry. With increases in crude by rail transportation, our industry aims to help mitigate the impact of train derailments on local communities as we strive for zero incidents.

API’s Midstream Group Director, Robin Rorick, discussed rail safety today:

“Over the past five years, our nation has experienced over a 1500% percent increase in crude oil transported by rail. In 2015, 32 million barrels of crude oil were moved by rail. Even with this high volume, 99.997 percent of crude oil deliveries arrived without incident. Furthermore, since 1980 rail accidents resulting in a hazmat release have dropped 84 percent.”

The API and the Association of American Railroads have partnered together to develop a safety course that helps supplement training of firefighters and first responders on safety procedures when crude oil is present. The video here touches on some of the many things covered throughout the course, and is meant to be a starting point to raise awareness of these important safety items. 

As the United States continues to lead the world in production of oil and natural gas and in the reduction of carbon emissions – which are near 20-year lows – it is vitally important to raise awareness of the importance of safety when transporting, distributing and handling petroleum products. 


Kate Wallace is an associate of research and content development for the American Petroleum Institute. Before joining API she was a researcher and policy analyst at America’s Natural Gas Alliance, and worked on pollinator conservation programs and state wildlife conservation policies before entering the energy industry. Kate graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Resource Economics, and earned her Master of Public Administration from George Mason University. She loves taking her dogs on hikes, travelling and navigating the northern Virginia/DC craft beer and wine scenes with her friends and family.