Oil from Bakken contributes to rail traffic increase

Calculated Risk posted the following chart of rail traffic:

One factor to consider when reviewing these figures is that a meaningful proportion of oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil production area is being transported to market by rail.  A local newspaper there reports that:

“billions of dollars has been spent on new rail shipping facilities and pipeline expansions to increase North Dakota’s shipping capacity to about 400,000 barrels a day. …

About half of the crude shipped out of North Dakota by rail is being processed at U.S. Development Group LLC’s terminal at St. James, said Bill Swan, a company spokesman. The new terminal opened in September. …

Many of the rail shipments from the oil patch are being handled by BNSF Railway Co., which has more than 1,000 miles of tracks in the region.

Michael Bruce, the railroad’s business development director, said BNSF could ship up 730,000 barrels of crude daily out of North Dakota “contingent of facilities being built.” …

BNSF also has benefited from shipments into North Dakota, hauling supplies to support the oil industry. The company said each drill rig and new well site in North Dakota requires about two dozen rail cars of materials for construction. …”

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