Shell Oil Products (US) officially joined the ranks of companies wanting to rail Bakken crude to West Coast refineries by filing documents with Skagit County, Wash., in late August outlining a proposal to construct a rail terminal adjacent to its Puget Sound refinery at Anacortes north of Seattle. In the documents, Shell said the purpose of the terminal is to import Bakken crude oil to replace gradually declining Alaska North Slope crude feedstocks.
Known as the Rail East Gate project, the terminal would have an initial approximate capacity to unload one unit train per day and up to six unit trains per week. The facility would be served by Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
“Other refineries in Washington have built similar projects or are in the process of building them,” Shell said in the documents. “Each company is responding to the increased availability of oil from the Bakken fields in North Dakota and the gradual decline of output from Alaska’s North Slope.”
As previously reported by Petroleum News Bakken, Tesoro is among those companies planning rail facilities in Washington with its proposed Vancouver terminal in southwest Washington. That terminal would provide access for Bakken crude oil to refineries up and down the West Coast. In addition, Tesoro is already receiving Bakken crude at its Anacortes refinery. BP and Phillips 66 also recently announced plans to accept Bakken crude oil via rail at their refineries at Blaine and Ferndale, both north of Anacortes.
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