Oil Trains on the East Coast: “It’s Getting Crazy”

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Crude from the tar sands and the Bakken. 

Wolf here: occasionally I highlight comments that add a different angle or flavor or an illustration or more depth to an article published on Wolf Street.

This is a comment by “Matt” on Matt (a different Matt) Badiali’s article, The Major Threat to Some of the Largest Oil Producers. The article discusses how Saudi Arabia is rattling the oil sector with a price war that many think is aimed at U.S. oil producers. But Saudi Arabia might be aiming for an easier price war to win: with Canadian tar-sands operators.

By Matt:

Here is some news for all of you that many may not even know about. Delta Airlines owns a refinery in Trainer, PA, which relies on the crude from these tar sands. Same with the PBF refinery in Delaware City, DE, which now has expanded its off-loading facility to accept 2,120 car trains a day.

Norfolk Southern has invested millions in laying down miles of new track in the area of the refinery and upgrading the crossings in the area in DE over the past two years to expedite these trains through so they do not tie up traffic.

PBF Energy re-opened this refinery several years after Valero shut it down. It sends some of this crude by barge to its other refinery upriver to Paulsboro, N J, which also gets crude by train. The refineries in the Philadelphia area that were supposed to shut down several years ago have remained open thanks to the Bakken and mostly tar-sands crude. These refineries are the largest consumers among refineries in the entire US of tar-sands crude.

Two years ago, at least five I know would have shut down and the price of gas would have been higher than in California, with spot outages of gas.

It is now to the point where CSX and NS are begging SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), which owns the regional rail line and runs passenger trains on it, to let them use it during the day to move more crude trains down to a storage facility for oil along its airport line. SEPTA said, build a freight line next to ours and you may do what you want. The passenger trains run every half hour to/from the airport. It takes crude trains 23 minutes to cover the 4 miles to get to the area they need, and they have from 1 AM to 4 AM only.

It is getting crazy on the rails on the East Coast, people. By Matt, in response to The Major Threat to Some of the Largest Oil Producers.

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  1 comment for “Oil Trains on the East Coast: “It’s Getting Crazy”

  1. NotSoSure
    Nov 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    At least this will hurt the Koch Brothers. I am sure there’s a positive in that somewhere.

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