NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Kirby Corp , the largest U.S. inland barge operator, said on Thursday it continues to see strong demand for inland barges carrying crude oil to refineries, as production from the Eagle Ford shale formation and other regions continues to grow.
Between 140 and 150 barges industrywide are currently carrying crude oil, more than 10 times the number in operation ten years ago, Joe Pyne, Kirby’s chairman and chief executive officer told analysts during the company’s third-quarter conference call on Thursday.
“We used to be able to count on less than two hands the number of crude barges,” said Joe Pyne, head of Kirby.
“The movement is mostly downriver movement of Canadian crude oil through Baton Rouge refineries.
Exxon Mobil Corp. operates a large, 503,000 barrel per day refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is located north of several large Louisiana refineries including those owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon oil.