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.