"[E]veryone in the oil and gas business knows that pipelines are cash cows once upfront costs have been recouped. They are particularly good money machines if a field is long lived. Secondly, pipelines are currently very lucrative places to have your money ... And yet in the Bakken play in North Dakota, Oneok Partners couldn’t get enough interest from operators to build a pipeline to carry Bakken crude ... Further, it costs about three times as much to transport oil by rail than by pipeline. That adds considerably to the overall costs. Tight oil production isn’t cheap by any measure to drill and complete so shipping by rail is merely adding additional burden. Three times the additional burden ... In fact, operators have overestimated reserves by a minimum of 100% to as much as 400-500% on shale gas and tight oil ... Add to this mix extremely steep decline curves for both shale gas and tight oil ... In other words, wells are playing out much quicker than expected. And this segues nicely into the heart of the matter. If operators thought that shale assets would be long-lived and highly productive they would build pipeline infrastructure to ensure equally long lived profits. But that is not the case. They have chosen instead to ship by rail for three times the cost of a pipeline. It is more likely that industry recognizes the short lives of shale wells and are not prepared to invest the capital needed to build the infrastructure."

Ein Artikel von Deborah Rogers, erschienen im Energy Policy Forum (14. Januar 2013).