Most recent update - 1/15/2014
new The chief executive of TransCanada said Wednesday if the Obama administration doesn't approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline his company will look to the more dangerous alternative of building build rail terminals in Alberta and Oklahoma. more
More crude-by-rail shipments likely in Wyoming more
U.S. DOT to issue new rules for rail tanker cars more
Former ND governor criticizes rail safety more
Bakken oil safety alert issued more
Tracks reopen after Casselton derailment more
ND Derailment could shut down rail service more
Crude train derailment reported in eastern ND more
Crude-by-rail in the spotlight in 2013 more
Bullish crude-by-rail perspectives more
Canada cracking down on crude-by-rail shippers more
Opponents dominate oil train hearing in Spokane more
Up to 90% of Bakken oil could move by rail in 2014 more
Tesoro says West Coast rail unloading to increase by 300% more
WSJ Updates Crude-by-Rail Regulatory Issues more
Phillips 66 Plans California Rail Transload Project more
Crude-by-Rail Safety Under Scrutiny more
|Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration|
Crude Oil Export Options
Source: North Dakota Pipeline Authority
Source: North Dakota Pipeline Authority
North Dakota rail loading facilities map
11/27/2013 The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration have issued a joint statement safety advisory on the handling of hazardous and flammable materials. The statement is a follow-up to the announcement by both agencies in August in response to the Lac-Megantic, Quebec accident. More
11/22/2013 CSX Corp said on Thursday its crude-by-rail business has the capacity to growth seven-fold over the next couple of years, as U.S. Northeast refiners take up growing supply from North Dakota's Bakken oil reservoir. Read more
4/25/2013 Tesoro Corporation and Savage Companies have announced the formation of a joint venture between Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC (a subsidiary of Tesoro) and Savage to develop and operate a new 120,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) crude-by-rail unloading and marine loading facility at the Port of Vancouver, Wash., subject to approval by regulatory agencies and Port Commissioners. Read more
4/9/2013 A Texas company plans to build a rail-to-barge crude oil and petroleum terminal facility on the Mississippi River. Indigo Resources Ltd. says the 610-acre facility proposed for Osceola, Arkansas will provide more efficient turnaround time from the Bakken shale in North Dakota and Canadian oil fields to the Louisiana Gulf Coast. With five loop tracks and a total of 16 miles of track, the facility will provide direct access to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and feature an advanced loading dock with more cost-effective down river transport time by barge to 14 refineries on the lower Mississippi River. With access to major highways, the terminal will include a high capacity truck rack facility. Storage capacity for up to three million gallons of bitumen and crude oil products will also be provided. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013 with completion projected in 2014. Read more
3/20/2013 Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. subsidiary Enbridge Rail (North Dakota) LLC has agreed to a three-year deal with Phillips 66 for railcar loading of Bakken shale crude at Enbridge’s Berthold, N.D., terminal beginning in May 2013, with volumes ramping up to 35,000 to 40,000 barrels per day by November. The crude oil will be delivered to Phillips 66 refineries on the West and East Coasts, and the company may also pursue opportunities to send it to its Gulf Coast refineries. The deal is part of Phillips 66 recently announced plans to receive an additional 100,000 barrels per day by rail and pipeline at its U.S. refineries. Read more
3/19/2013 The upgraded rail transloading facility built near Berthold by Enbridge reportedly has loaded its first unit train. The $160 million facility offloads crude directly from Enbridge's pipeline onto tank cars and can handle eight trains per week or an average of 80,000 barrels per day. Read more
3/15/2013 Construction is underway for the Pioneer Project near New Town, according to a press release from Dakota Plains Holdings, Inc. and its joint-venture partner, Petroleum Transport Solutions, LLC, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of World Fuel Services Corporation. The Pioneer Project represents a significant expansion of the New Town transloading facility located in the Williston Basin. Crude oil supplying the facility is currently sourced primarily from the Bakken formation that underlies parts of Montana, North Dakota, and Saskatchewan. Read more
3/5/2013 Enserco Midstream, , a subsidiary of Twin Eagle Resource Management, , announced today that it will build and operate a crude oil trans-loading terminal to serve producers in the Niobrara and Bakken shale formations and from Canada. The new facility will be built in Douglas, WY, the heart of the Powder River Basin. The Douglas Rail Terminal will have unit train capability on the main line of the Railway, along with crude oil storage capacity for efficient operation. In the future, it is expected the facility will handle trans-loading as well.
2/23/2013 According to a Reuters report, Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) says it is ramping up its rail shipments of Bakken crude with the goal of transporting 140,000 barrels per day to its 147-year-old refinery complex by the third quarter of this year. The company says it will be able to accept two or three unit trains filled with crude per week by April 1. By July or earlier, the plan is to increase the total to five unit trains, and in the third quarter to offload a total of 14 per week or two per day, a company official told Reuters. The unit trains PES will use carry 70,000 barrels of crude a day in 120 cars that stretch 1.5 miles. Read more
2/5/2013 PBF Energy Inc. has announced the completion of the second crude oil unloading facility at its subsidiary’s Delaware City Refinery. The construction of the 70,000 barrel per day (bpd) rail facility was announced in mid-2012 and was completed on schedule and on budget. The first unit train of Bakken crude oil is expected to discharge this week with seventeen more unit trains scheduled to arrive in the next two weeks. With the completion of this project, the Delaware City rail facilities are now capable of discharging 110,000 bpd of crude oil directly at the refinery – 40,000 bpd of heavy crude oil and 70,000 bpd of light crude oil. More
2/5/2013 The record increase in U.S. crude oil production during 2012 and the significant decline in coal use for domestic electricity generation were reflected in the movement of those two commodities by rail last year. Crude oil and petroleum products accounted for the biggest increase in railcar loadings among commodities in 2012, while coal had the largest decline. Notwithstanding these changes, coal remained by far the dominant category of carload shipments, accounting for 41% of total carloads, compared to a 4% share for all petroleum and petroleum products combined. More
1/28/2013 Wyoming-based Eighty-Eight Oil announced today it plans to construct and operate a unit train facility on BNSF Railway’s mainline near the Guernsey, Wyoming crude oil pipeline hub. The facility will be directly connected to Eighty-Eight's’s existing Guernsey crude oil terminal which has two million barrels of storage and currently receives crude oil from Butte Pipeline, Belle Fourche Pipeline, Platte Pipeline, and the Rocky Mountain Pipeline System. More
1/9/2012 U.S. refiner Phillips 66 reportedly has signed a five-year agreement to deliver crude oil from North Dakota to a New Jersey refinery by rail. Phillips said it signed a deal to use Global Partners' rail transport facilities to deliver Bakken crude to Phillips' Bayway refinery, according to a UPI report. More
• 12/4/2012...Canadian Pacific Railway has announced that it has abandoned plans to build new track to serve coal mining in northeast Wyoming and southeast Montana, citing weakened U.S. demand for coal. Instead, the company said it plans to shift its attention to the oil industry in the Williston Basin. Read more
• 11/26/2012 Trains carrying crude oil from the Williston Basin reportedly have begun arriving at new or expanded rail yards in Washington state such as the $55 million, four-track yard recently completed by Tesoro near its Anacortes refinery north of Seattle. The new facility is said to be capable of offloading over 200,000 barrels of crude per day. Read more
• 11/5/2012 Rangeland Energy, LLC announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the company to Inergy Midstream, L.P. for $425 million. Rangeland is the owner and operator of the COLT system, the largest open-access crude oil distribution hub in North Dakota. The COLT system includes a large crude oil rail loading terminal in Williams County, North Dakota, and related storage and pipeline assets. The transaction is expected to close in early December. Read more
• 10/10/2012 Statoil's plans for rail shipment of oil production from the Williston Basin are updated in a Bloomberg report out today. The Norwegian company reportedly delivered a load of Bakken crude by rail recently to Irving Oil Corp.’s Saint John refinery, the largest in Canada. A spokesman said Statoil expects to ship 10 percent to 20 percent of its North Dakota production by rail to refineries on the East and West Coasts to take advantage of prices higher than those offered by refineries in the major hub of Cushing, Okla. Read more
• 10/5/2012 Transloading transaction announced...Global Partners LP has announced it has signed a purchase agreement to acquire a 60% membership interest in Basin Transload LLC , which operates two transloading facilities in North Dakota with a combined rail loading capacity of 160,000 barrels per day. The total purchase price is expected to be approximately $80 million. The transloading facilities are approximately 195 miles apart in Columbus and Beulah. The Columbus facility is located along the Canadian Pacific Railway and provides single line haul service to Global's recently expanded terminal in Albany, NY. The Beulah site, which supports crude oil production efforts in the Williston Basin, is located along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad with direct long-haul service to the West Coast and Gulf Coast markets. Read more
• 10/4/2012 Rail credited with raising Bakken crude price...Even as oil prices overall continue to decline, the price for Bakken crude is going higher due in large part to increased access to rail transport to distant refineries, according to a news report out today. The trend is benefiting coastal refineries who normally use more expensive imported crude but is having a negative effect on Midwest refineries such as Tesoro in Mandan that have relied on the formerly steep Bakken crude discount for higher profit margins. The Bakken premium is expected to continue until late 2013 when pipeline companies are projected to finish projects that will increase the flow of crude out of the major oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, according to a recent analyst report. Read more
• Tesoro plans to boost Bakken shipments...San Antonio-based Tesoro has added another 10,000 barrels per day to its inital plan to ship up to 40,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude via railcar to its refinery in Washington state as part of a plan to cut back on its supply of more expensive crude from the Alaskan North Slope. Tesoro executed a long-term agreement for access to Rangeland Energy's crude loading terminal and pipeline facility in Williams County last year. Read more...
• Enbridge Berthold rail car station loads first train car...Under construction for nearly a year, the rail car loading station at Berthold in Ward County has begun service. During phase one of the project, the Berthold station will load approximately 10,000 barrels per day for transport. The goal of phase two, expected to be completed by January of next year, is to increase capacity to 80,000 barrels per day. Read more...
• Bakken Oil Express, a rail loading facility that opened in November near Dickinson, continues to expand its facilities. According to a recent news report, trucks haul approximately 150 loads--nearly 60,000 barrels--to the site per day for loading onto tank cars. The site also has begun to handle cement and frac sand. Read more...
• Trenton rail connection completed...Salt Lake City-based Savage has announced the completion of its rail terminal in Williams County near Trenton with direct connection to BNSF Railway’s main line track. The terminal is strategically located to gather crude oil from the Williston Basin and Bakken Shale and facilitate the transport of crude to key refinery markets. The terminal provides area oil producers with inbound gathering access through truck receiving stations, pipeline connections and crude oil tankage. Outbound delivery of crude oil is served by a double loop track capable of holding two 118 car unit trains. Read more...
• Statoil increases use of rail...The Norwegian company, which purchased Brigham Exploration last year, has announced it is leasing 1,000 additional rail cars to ship Bakken crude from the Williston Basin to markets on the East, West and Gulf Coasts of the U.S. in additon to Canada. The company says it plans to increase its production in the area over the next three to five years to 100,000 barrels per day. Read more...
• BNSF adds Bakken capacity..BNSF Railway has announced it can now ship up to 1 million barrels of oil daily from western North Dakota and eastern Montana, roughly four times the current daily average of 243,500 barrels. The rail company says it increased annual Bakken crude shipments of Bakken crude from 1.3 million barrels in fiscal year 2008 to 88.9 million barrels in fiscal year 2012. To handle the increased capacity, BNSF says if it is hiring 560 workers in Montana and North Dakota and investing $197 million in projects in those states. Read more...
• Delta airlines may buy Bakken crude for refinery...Delta Airlines reportedly is considering a plan to supply its east coast refinery with crude oil from the Bakken play. According to a recent news report, Delta bought the refinery earlier this year to cut its fuel expenses, but still imports most of its crude from overseas. Delta officials are quoted as saying their cost savings would be increased by using domestic crude from the Bakken, which would be shipped in by train. Read more...
• Bakken oil premium jumps...Bakken crude's premium to West Texas Intermediate crude surged to the widest in almost a year in early September as refineries on the East and West coasts began ramping up facilities to receive rail shipments. Read more...