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Shell drops proposed crude-by-rail facility in Washington


Shell, doing business as Equilon Enterprises LLC, announced late last week that it is suspending the permit process of its planned crude-by-rail project in the state of Washington.

The announcement comes less than a week after the state's Department of Ecology and Skagit County released a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed unloading facility at the Shell Puget Sound Refinery.

"When we look at current crude oil supplies, prices and markets globally, and the cost of the project, it just doesn't make economic sense to move forward at this time," said Shirley Yap, the refinery's general manager. "We are committed to investing in this facility and there will be other ways to do that."

The refinery currently receives its crude oil via tankers that unload at its dock, and via pipeline that serves Canadian oil fields. Shell sought the rail project so that it could tap new crude-oil supplies in the Midwest that are not served by pipelines, according to a company press release.

"We are confident with current crudes now available that we can continue supplying the refinery," said Yap. "The Puget Sound Refinery will continue to produce the fuels that power life in the Pacific Northwest."

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