The refineries along the US East Coast sit close to some of the globe’s largest energy demand centers, but face such high prices for the crude they process that many have struggled to make money. Many import crude oil from Africa and the Middle East, and have been cut off from cheaper supply recently surging out of the middle and west of North America by limits on transportation infrastructure.

Companies like Enbridge, which presented recently at the US Association for Energy Economics, are seeking solutions to a bottleneck that is preventing lower-priced crude from competing on global or even national markets. Much oil currently travels by rail, as we’ve noted on Breaking Energy before, and may increasingly go multi-modal, from pipelines into rail cars and vice versa as it wends its way to energy-hungry Eastern US and Eastern Canadian markets.

For more coverage from the USAEE Summit in Austin, TX this November, visit Breaking Energy’s special hub on the conference here.