Sunday, October 20, 2013

trains or pipelines

What do melting sea ice, fiery train wrecks and the Bakken oil boom have in common?

No, they’re not part of the latest Hollywood blockbuster – although if I came across a trailer showing George Clooney as a roughneck leaping from a flaming train onto an ice floe with an angry polar bear, you better believe I’d watch it.

The answer is less exciting, but more important: All three factor into a Denver company’s plan to ship crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in Saskatchewan to a northern Manitoba port via railroad. Colorado-based Omnitrax, one of North America’s largest private rail companies, hopes to bring more than 2 million barrels of oil annually from Saskatchewan to the Port of Churchill in Hudson Bay along existing railroad tracks, starting as soon as 2015.

Similar but unrelated plans are on track to ship tar sands oil from Alberta to coastal British Columbia by rail, as well as crude from North Dakota to Oregon and Washington. Across North America, the number of railcars shipping oil has grown from almost zero in 2009 to a projected 150,000 in Canada and more than 700,000 in the U.S. this year. About 70 percent of North Dakota oil now moves by train, destined for refineries around the U.S. As energy strategist Julius Walker told Bloomberg, “This is a revolutionary change in crude oil logistics that has rarely happened before.” ...

Read the rest of the story:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Nature Blog Network