Department of Transportation’s PHMSA Issues Bakken Shale Oil Shipping Safety Alert

Low Flash Point For Light Sweet Crude Makes Accidents More Dangerous
Oil Rail Car Image

Crude Oil Rail Car | Click to Enlarge

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a safety alert for Bakken crude.

PHMSA issued the alert to reinforce the need to test, characterize, classify, and where appropriate de-gassify the crude oil before transportation.

PHMSA also wants to remind first responders of that light sweet crude is assigned a packing group of I or II. Those packing groups mean the flash point is below 73 degrees Farenheit and the boiling point for packing group I is below 95 degrees Farenheit.

“Operation Classification” will be an ongoing effort, and PHMSA will continue to collect samples and measure the characteristics of Bakken crude as well as oil from other locations.

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R.T. Dukes

R.T. Dukes

Managing Editor at
R.T. is the managing editor and a contributor to and His experience includes research and consulting roles where he advised major oil companies. His current life revolves around his wife, two kids, and shale plays. He has been following the Bakken since early 2006. 2503 Robinhood, Houston, TX, 77005, U.S.A. | Telephone: 832.429.4790


  1. rudolph caparros says:

    First Responders ask federal administrations to consider adding secondary containment to rail tank cars used to transport chlorine gas, providing lifesaving safety to First Responders and the public they serve. See First Responders Comments at PETITION C KIT.

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