Bakken Oil Heading to Philadelphia | VideoJennifer Joas | 11/26/2012
The two biggest ways Bakken crude oil is transported to refineries is by pipeline and rail. But with producers getting $20 more per barrel for sending crude to coastal refineries, rail is becoming the favored method in North Dakota.
"The Bakken crude oil is a very high quality, very sought after crude oil. But historically we have been bound by pipelines to certain market areas. And now rail has really opened up the entire US refining markets," said Justin Kringstad, North Dakota Pipeline Authority.
Enbridge is partnering with Canopy Prospecting to create the Eddystone Rail Company. It will be a unit-train facility that will ship 80,000 barrels of Bakken oil a day to refineries in Philadelphia.
"The ability to provide our producers that access to other refineries our pipelines may not be able to reach to is always a great resource for us. Even if the Brent prices could change, I still see it being a great relationship between the two," said Katie Haarsager, Enbridge Pipelines Community Relations Advisor.
The two companies plan to reconfigure existing tracks to accommodate 120 car unit-trains, install off-loading equipment, and update an existing 200,000 barrel tank and barge loading facility. Enbridge says pipelines take three to five years to build, while these rail upgrades will only take about a year.
"Rail facilities can be put in quickly with regulatory approval. And really provide a solution to the bakken to producers and to refineries in a timely manner," said Haarsager.
The $68 million project will be completed during the third quarter of 2013. Kringstad says other companies are looking into shipping Bakken crude by rail to states like Washington as well.