U.S. fines three oil companies for wrongly classifying shipments

February 5, 2014

Three oil companies operating in North Dakota were fined $93,000 on February 4 for wrongly classifying fuel shipments in the first sanctions since a series of fiery derailments put the energy industry under a spotlight, Reuters has reported.

The Department of Transportation said Hess Corp, Marathon Oil Corp and Whiting Petroleum Corp were cited for wrongly classifying cargo tanks that were hauling crude oil from the field to a railhead.

Fuel shipments must be designated with a hazard class to alert emergency responders in the event of an accident. Eleven of eighteen samples of one survey were mislabeled, the DOT said in a statement.

"The fines we are proposing today should send a message to everyone involved in the shipment of crude oil: You must test and classify this material properly," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Copyright: Reuters, 2014