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12/7/2011



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Enbridge Energy eyes unit-train loading facility in Bakken Shale; USDG opens terminal in Niobrara Shale


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Yesterday, Enbridge Energy Partners L.P. announced plans to spend an additional $145 million to enhance the capability of its North Dakota crude-oil distribution system in the Bakken Shale region. The project calls for expanding capacity at a BNSF Railway Co.-served terminal near Berthold, N.D., by 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) and constructing a rail-car loading facility to accommodate additional volume.

Enbridge Energy plans to build a double-loop unit-train facility and other terminal facilities adjacent to existing operations near Berthold. The rail facility will be designed to stage three unit trains at a time. The full 80,000-bpd of rail export capacity is scheduled to be in service in early 2013.

“Our Berthold rail project complements a series of expansions Enbridge has undertaken to expand transport capacity from North Dakota,” said Enbridge Energy President Mark Maki in a prepared statement. “It integrates high-quality Bakken crude into Enbridge's expanding portfolio of pipeline projects that access premium markets across the United States.”

Meanwhile, U.S. Development Group L.L.C. (USDG) announced it launched operations at the Niobrara Crude Terminal (NCT), a logistics hub that will handle crude oil and related products from the Niobrara Shale in Colorado and Wyoming.
 
Served by Union Pacific Railroad, the NCT features direct truck-to-rail loading capabilities with capacity to handle up to 35,000 barrels per day. The terminal’s initial rail loading capacity is 60 rail cars; USDG plans to double rail capacity to 120 cars by the first quarter.
 
“We are confident that the Niobrara Shale will continue its evolution into a world-class crude deposit,” said Tom Williams, president of United Energy Trading, which is working with USDG to provide rail access to major domestic crude-oil markets.


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