Rail favored over pipelines for North Dakota oil

Much of the focus had been on moving North Dakota crude to refineries in Tulsa. But the big increases in domestic oil production have created an over supply in the Tulsa area. That’s where the Bakken Express was headed, and that’s where Keystone XL intends to connect before heading to the Gulf.

Not only that, oil companies in North Dakota are pumping crude and need to move it now. Those pipelines are years from reality.

The stars aligned for BNSF Railway. The railroad company has rapidly developed the industrial infrastructure to load unit trains with crude oil and move them to the West Coast, which has felt the slowdown in Alaskan production, or the refineries in the northeast. While pipelines may be more efficient and less expensive means of moving crude oil, the railroad is here now and gives producers choices in where to ship based on price.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • SWS

    Do you know why Obama is delaying the pipeline. Because his friend is Warren Buffett and Warren Buffet has a HUGE stake in the BNSF railroad.

    • awfulorv

      Do not overlook his inability to control whether or not, or how many, Union workers, and thus Dem. political contributors, will be afforded jobs on the project.

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