Testing for the classification and shipping of crude oil offered for rail transportation in the USA.

The recent February 2014 US Department of Transportation (US DOT) order mandating proper testing and classification of crude oil being transported by rail car requires appropriate physical and chemical properties tests be conducted.

Intertek provides crude oil physical and chemical property testing which comply with the US DOT requirement for the testing and classification of crude oil prior to being offered into rail car transportation.

Per the US DOT Emergency Restriction and Prohibition Order, petroleum tests conducted must determine:

  • Crude oil flash point (flashpoint)
  • Crude oil boiling point (IBP, initial boiling point)
  • Corrosivity to steel and aluminum
  • Corrosion Testing for Crude Oil Rail Car Tanks
  • Presence and content of compounds such as sulfur and hydrogen sulfide (H2S)
  • Percentage presence of flammable gases
  • Vapor pressure at 50°C

Intertek's laboratory, office, railcar, and field sampling locations, network, and technical capabilities are well positioned to provide national service, including the Bakken region. North Dakota Bakken crude oil testing includes crude oil vapor pressure, VPCRx, ASTM D6377. Conforms to NDIC Rule Order No. 25417.

Intertek personnel are prepared to provide the appropriate testing services and offer guidance regarding the recently released DOT Emergency Restriction/Prohibition order.

This information represents Intertek’s current interpretation of the order. The regulatory situation may evolve as the issues are being discussed within industry groups and US DOT.

Crude oil testing will help to ensure that crude oil for shipment by rail has been properly classified, described, and packaged in accordance with the appropriate Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).

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