More Oil on Rail Cars | VideoJennifer Joas | 2/25/2013
If you drive over railroad tracks every day, you may have noticed you`re stopping more and more waiting for the train to pass by. Well, your perceptions are correct. BNSF has added six additional trains every day and they`re carrying more than 100 cars of oil.
It`s hard to miss the large locomotives carrying hundreds of crude oil rail cars every day, but it wasn`t always that way.
"We knew that the Bakken was big. But like many people, we didn`t know exactly how big. But we ramped up very quickly and in accordance with what the customers were telling us and what the experts were telling us about how big the reserves were," said John Miller with BNSF.
BNSF started exporting crude oil from western North Dakota in 2008. It started carrying 1.3 million barrels. Within four years, its export volume jumped to 100 million barrels.
"We`re real pleased with the growth in crude oil by rail on BNSF. And we`re still excited about the growth for the future," Miller said.
2012 was a big year for rail in North Dakota. Exports increased by 36 percent. And the reason rail is having so much success is because trains can reach coastal refineries that will pay more for oil.
"The price for crude oil in western North Dakota impacts the tax revenues, royalty payments, and operator returns. And so we want the best possible price for that barrel in western North Dakota," said Justin Kringstad with the Pipeline Authority.
Kringstad says it`s not only good for North Dakota, but it lets coastal refineries buy domestic oil, instead of importing oil from foreign countries.
If you`re a driver, you`d better get used to stopping, because the state and BNSF expect rail exports to continue increasing over the next several years, which means more and more trains.