Texas oil company loses $30 million after failing to meet production target
Waco, Texas — A company that makes oil-by-rail trains is on the verge of losing $30.7 million in the wake of a series of oil spills in recent months, the latest in a string of incidents in the state.
The Texas Railroad Commission announced Monday that its inspectors have found that the company’s fleet of oil-rail trucks has been operating without a valid oil-monitoring license, and that the vehicles are in violation of federal and state environmental laws.
The company’s owner, Trian, Inc., announced the suspension in a letter to employees and said it was working with the Texas Oil & Gas Association to address the problem.
“I am disappointed that our fleet of trains and equipment is not in compliance with Texas oil-safety regulations and requirements,” the company said in the letter.
“The Trian fleet will continue to be monitored for compliance with the oil-trading and safety standards that we must follow.”
In January, the Trian company, which has about 2,000 employees in the United States, announced that it would suspend its operations for several weeks while it addressed the safety concerns and repaired the damaged equipment.
The company said at the time that it will provide more information in a later filing.
Trian has said the company was operating at an operating capacity of 1,100 barrels per day, but that the agency has not found a way to measure the total volume of oil it can move.
The Trian’s oil-tanker fleet currently is carrying about 3,000 barrels per minute.
The commission said it received reports of oil leaks on at least three occasions in Texas since November.
In the first incident, the company learned of a leak on the rail cars in February, and it closed the trains for several days while it investigated.
In March, the agency reported a spill on the trains at a refinery in the Gulf of Mexico.
The latest incident was discovered on May 1 when Trian was forced to suspend operations because the company did not have an operating permit.
The spill prompted Trian to close the entire fleet of its oil-train fleet, which is estimated to be around 300 vehicles.
The Trians board of directors did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.