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Granite Peak Development L.L.C. held an open house Tuesday to mark the opening of a $60 million crude-to-rail (CBR) facility in Casper, Wyo.Served by BNSF Railway Co., the facility is near Casper/Natrona County International Airport and targets crude from the Express Pipeline, which begins in Canada and connects to the Platte Pipeline running from Illinois to Wyoming. The facility is designed to load excess crude from the Express Pipeline onto trains.Working with the pipeline offers a degree of stability for the new CBR facility, Granite Peak Development officials believe.Unit trains began departing the facility — which can store 1.2 million barrels of oil — in September. Each unit train can transport about 71,000 barrels. The facility can load one unit train in 12 hours and accommodate up to three unit trains at a time.Meanwhile, Phillips 66 Partners L.P. announced it reached an agreement to acquire from Phillips 66 two newly constructed CBR unloading facilities in Linden, N.J., and Ferndale, Wash., for $330 million.Expected to close in early December, the transaction includes the Bayway rail unloading facility within Phillips 66's refinery in New Jersey that launched operations in August and can unload 120 rail cars simultaneously; and the Ferndale rail unloading facility adjacent to a Phillips refinery in Washington that's scheduled to begin operations in November and is designed to unload 54 rail cars simultaneously. Phillips 66 Partners also will acquire certain assets associated with the Cross-Channel Connector Pipeline for an additional $10 million. Phillips 66 and the partnership plan to enter into 10-year terminal services agreements for 100 percent of the available capacity of the rail unloading facilities.
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