Jumping aboard the North Dakota oil-by-rail shipping boom

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 19, 2013 - 3:07 PM

Wayzata's Dakota Plains built a terminal after seeing pipelines lacked shipping capacity.

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tallbobJan. 20, 1312:54 AM

God for the Rails! This will keep rail jobs and it's safer than pipelines! It's also based in Minnesota.

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granny47Jan. 20, 1310:56 AM

The rails should NEVER have been abandoned in the first place. I come from a family of truckers, and yes, they need jobs too but look at what they're paying for diesel fuel now - about 95 cents a gallon MORE than unleaded. In my opinion this is a major factor in why prices have risen to the extent they have. They can't absorb the ridiculous cost of fuel, so it gets passed on to the consumers.

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dahutysJan. 20, 1311:35 AM

I don't know how much capacity there is to move oil by rail, but it does makes sense. The article already pointed out that rail provides a lot more flexibility than pipelines. It makes better use of an already-existing transportation network. Companies don't have to go to the time and expense of trying to negotiate rights-of-way and fighting people who don't want a pipeline running through their back yard. And if there's an accident, it's probably a lot easier to clean up 7 derailed train tankers than a pipeline that spewed millions of gallons because it took the operators 18 hours to investigate the drop in pressure.

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motytrahJan. 20, 13 5:05 PM

While we're dinking around with creating a pipeline to Canada for very expensive oil sands crude we are letting much cheaper ND oil ship via very expensive means. Rail is certainly more efficient than truck, but it pales in comparison to pipeline. Why no pipeline? Because there's a lot more pork and loopholes to taking Canadian crude. Even more, most northland states get their natural gas from Canada. So if export Natural Gas prices spike because of the massive amounts needed to boil the oil out of the sand it's even more money for natural gas interests.

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