BNSF increases Bakken oil-hauling capacity to 1 million barrels a day

2012-09-04T23:00:00Z 2014-08-25T07:06:40Z BNSF increases Bakken oil-hauling capacity to 1 million barrels a dayBy LORNA THACKERAY lthackeray@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway announced Tuesday that it has increased capacity to ship 1 million barrels a day of shale oil from the Bakken fields in Montana and North Dakota.

No information was immediately available about routes out of the Bakken to markets throughout the country or whether those trains pass through Billings.

In BNSF’s press release from its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, the railroad said the increased capacity would benefit other commodities, including agricultural products.

“Historically, oil and gas producers have used pipelines to transport crude from production to refineries and ultimately on to end users,” said John Lanigan, BNSF executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

“Because this shale development growth came about so quickly, there has been a shortage of pipeline capacity to deliver production from new unconventional sources to coastal refiners. BNSF has responded quickly to enable producers to move crude to the most attractive markets and secure the best prices.”

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said the railroad’s decision supports the need for the Keystone XL pipeline. The controversial Alberta-to-Gulf-Coast pipeline, proposed by TransCanada Corp., also would ship oil from the Bakken. It would cross hundreds of miles in Eastern Montana. Montana’s entire congressional delegation backs the project.

“As we look for every way to support the opportunities presented by the Bakken energy boom, I’m pleased to see BNSF respond to the need for more capacity to support our homegrown energy,” Baucus said. “The news is further evidence that we cannot afford to continue to delay the Keystone pipeline.”

BNSF said that its network reaches all major coastal and inland markets and directly serves 30 percent of U.S. refineries in 14 states. Currently, the railroad has 1,000 miles of rail line in the Williston Basin area. It connects to 16 of the top 19 oil-producing counties in central and western North Dakota and five of six oil-producing counties in Montana.

In the five years since BNSF began hauling crude out of the Williston Basin, it has seen a huge increase in the amount it ships, said Dave Garvin, BNSF group vice president for industrial products. It went from 1.3 million barrels in 2008 to 88.9 million in 2012.

BNSF said it has invested $197 million in 2012 on projects in Montana and North Dakota to increase its shipping capacity. Since 2011, the company has hired more than 560 employees to fill existing and newly created jobs in the two states, the statement said.

The railroad said it has also formed a dedicated Unit Energy Desk that works directly with customers to help coordinate and plan unit train movements to and from the Williston Basin.

The press release said that it has increased efficiency and capacity by increasing train size from 100 to 104 tank cars, and in some cases up to 118 tank cars.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(26) Comments

  1. fountain of smart
    Report Abuse
    fountain of smart - September 05, 2012 4:30 pm
    jeez LOL
    when ya start takin pot shots at OUR President and Commander in Chief, dunt ya tink ya shud spel it rite?
  2. curlin
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    curlin - September 05, 2012 4:22 pm
    You forgot the Coast Guard, Rocket Scientist!
  3. curlin
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    curlin - September 05, 2012 4:20 pm
    You made some interesting points. You do know a major supporter of Obama, Warren Buffet, ownes BNSF. Can we say Crony Capitalism.
  4. Howard Wilkinson
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    Howard Wilkinson - September 05, 2012 1:51 pm
    Keystone XL was an international project primarily to transport crap from the tar sands of Alberta. The president blocked the INTERNATIONAL portion of that project, but has no authority over pipelines within the US. The US and Canadian portions can easily be constructed... they simply cannot connect them at this point. There is nothing at all blocking a pipeline from the Baaken down to the gulf coast.
    Thanks to the rail companies, the dams on the upper Missouri were set up to block commerce by water (no locks). Thanks to the rail companies, the grain terminal at Lewiston Idaho was shut down. You cannot ship grain in containers at the lower rate per ton... it must go in hopper bottom cars a the higher rate.... How many other scams have the rail companies run on us? Perhaps blocking pipelines wherever possible..... ya think?? Politics is dirty, and the rail companies are MASTERS at it!!
  5. smokercraft
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    smokercraft - September 05, 2012 1:02 pm
    He!! yes...drill baby drill...so more speculators can stick it to working Americans when their crude is sold on the world market. Why do you fools think the oil companies are in such big hurry to build pipelines and haul oil to the shipping ports and coastal refineries.
  6. smokercraft
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    smokercraft - September 05, 2012 12:59 pm
    Yep, it's going South all right,so the crude can be refined and sold on the WORLD MARKET. And stupid Americans will let it happen again and again.
  7. Glaucon
    Report Abuse
    Glaucon - September 05, 2012 11:40 am
    Skinwalker, if you honestly care about the environment, you should be sending thank you notes to the oil futures traders.

    They are making the logical bet that demand for oil will increase in the future while supply will decrease. They buy futures today at a relatively higher price than the straight supply and demand would suggest is the market price. Their bet is that the purchase price today, even thought it is above the market value, will save them money in the long term when the futures come due.

    How this relates back to the environment is that futures traders do increase the price of oil and gas. This however reduces consumption as consumers are more price conscience. For all the decades of government intervention, CAFE standards, RPS portfolios, ethanol subsidies, etc., the open market has been far more effective in reducing near-term consumption.
  8. KowgirlKaitlynn
    Report Abuse
    KowgirlKaitlynn - September 05, 2012 10:59 am
    You just have to love the grammar/spelling Nazis. I just want to hug them and say, "there, they're, their".
  9. billy banger
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    billy banger - September 05, 2012 10:52 am
    BNSF said it has invested $197 million in 2012 on projects in Montana and North Dakota to increase its shipping capacity. Since 2011, the company has hired more than 560 employees to fill existing and newly created jobs in the two states, the statement said.

    From the article which it does not appear you read.
  10. billy banger
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    billy banger - September 05, 2012 10:49 am
    What pipelines? Not the XL which at best would only take 10 percent of less of current production.
  11. billy banger
    Report Abuse
    billy banger - September 05, 2012 10:46 am
    It is not supply and demand so other factors like greed must be at play.
  12. Drill Baby Drill
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    Drill Baby Drill - September 05, 2012 9:40 am
    This is awesome! DRILL DRILL DRILL!!!
  13. Drill Baby Drill
    Report Abuse
    Drill Baby Drill - September 05, 2012 9:40 am
    This is awesome! DRILL DRILL DRILL!!!
  14. 6bay
    Report Abuse
    6bay - September 05, 2012 9:39 am
    No Billy (nprc) Banger, most the oil is going South. Not through Billings.
  15. driver
    Report Abuse
    driver - September 05, 2012 9:27 am
    It's jeez not geez!
  16. curlin
    Report Abuse
    curlin - September 05, 2012 9:25 am
    You are all messed up. Just throwing out crap hoping it will stick. The Bakken is where "oil" production is taking place. That oil is being shipped south to the refineries in Texas and Louisiana. Southern Montana and Wyoming is where the coal is be produced and because of Obama regulations is being shipped to China.

    You have no idea how enery futures work. Give it a break.
  17. driver
    Report Abuse
    driver - September 05, 2012 9:15 am
    So Max thinks we need the Keystone pipeline that his good friend Barak has blocked. One would think that with all the support given by our Sr Senator for Obamas health care plan Max would have enough pull with Barak to get a much needed, shovel ready project such as this pipeline underway.
  18. curlin
    Report Abuse
    curlin - September 05, 2012 8:39 am
    Warren Buffett, a leading supporter of Obama, is being rewarded once again. This method of transporting oil is much more destructive to the environment than pipelines. The oil spills and diesel fuel used to run the train engines will be enormous. The radicals are happy though becuase it is "their" guy who is receiving the benefit.

    When Buffet bought BNSF three or four years ago he knew he could twist the arm of the child President. Here is more proof.
  19. fountain of smart
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    fountain of smart - September 05, 2012 8:35 am
    anythin that decreases the number of trucks on the road has to be a good thing
  20. fountain of smart
    Report Abuse
    fountain of smart - September 05, 2012 8:34 am
    IT'S CHIEF not cheif geez.

    the supreme commander of the armed forces of a nation or, sometimes, of several allied nations: The president is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air force.
  21. Skinwalker
    Report Abuse
    Skinwalker - September 05, 2012 8:23 am
    There is no relationship between supply and demand in oil. The prices are set by speculators in the futures market on Wall Street to make them money. Nothing else matters. Been this way since Little Bush/Cheney took the regulations off of the energy futures markets in 2001. Besides all of the environmental destruction going on in the Bakken is to provide energy to China so that they can take more U.S. manufacturing jobs. Haven't you been paying attention.
  22. billy banger
    Report Abuse
    billy banger - September 05, 2012 8:20 am
    So, instead of adding to the number of trains daily going thru billings, they will just make them longer so it appears there are not so many.
  23. KowgirlKaitlynn
    Report Abuse
    KowgirlKaitlynn - September 05, 2012 6:21 am
    It will start coming down starting in January 2013, when the new Commander in Cheif takes office.
  24. BillingsCapitolofNewOldWest
    Report Abuse
    BillingsCapitolofNewOldWest - September 05, 2012 6:12 am
    Great. !
  25. Banksy
    Report Abuse
    Banksy - September 05, 2012 4:09 am
    Great so when's the price of gas coming down?
  26. FlippySide
    Report Abuse
    FlippySide - September 05, 2012 1:44 am
    Awesome! Of course there will be idiots protesting this, as they drive up in their gas guzzlers.

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