While opponents to the Keystone XL pipeline will be quick to tout the latest remarks from Harold Hamm saying the pipeline is no longer necessary for Bakken crude, one need look no further than Whitefish, Montana to understand why pipelines (not just the Keystone XL pipeline) are needed in the region.
First, The Hill has the news out of NYC as Harold Hamm, one of the fathers of the Bakken, says the Keystone XL is not needed. (He previously said the pipeline was “no longer necessary”)
Continental Resources, an independent oil producer, signed on to ship 35,000 barrels of oil from North Dakota’s Bakken field through Keystone XL but as there is no end in sight to the five-year delay of the project, Continental is using railroads to ship it crude to refineries.
Chief executive of Continental, Harold Hamm, told Reuters that the oil industry is not counting on Keystone XL to relieve oil supply bottlenecks any longer.
Whether the Keystone pipeline goes through or not, it is clear more pipelines in the Bakken region are needed. Just ask Amtrak, as The Flathead Beacon reports:
Cold weather and “extreme freight congestion” forced Amtrak to cancel five runs of its Empire Builder passenger train through Montana and the Flathead Valley this month. According to spokesperson Marc Magliari, the suspension of service was done in hopes of having the train on time the week before Dec. 25.
According to railroad spokesperson Matthew Jones, more oil is coming out of the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota, which means more trains. But Jones said other trains are also fighting for space on the main line. Domestic intermodal, industrial products and grain traffic have all seen major increases this year. And trains carrying new automobiles have increased by 10 percent over last year. On the tracks between Glasgow and Minot, there is an average of 38 freight trains a day. That’s 18 more trains than the daily average in 2008, at the height of the economic downturn, and one more train than the previous average record set in 2005.
Although, in defense of freight transport and oil development, I remember waiting on Amtrak back in the 80’s to travel from Glasgow, Montana to Whitefish and it seemed the trains were almost always several hours late in the extreme cold winter time.
Meanwhile, here’s more news out of the Bakken from Rob Port’s SayAnythingBlog.com: North Dakota Flaring Percentage Down In October For Fourth Consecutive Month
Vinny in Livingston
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:45 PM
The Keystone pipeline is an EXPORT PIPELINE TO CHINA.The goal was th have tankers bring light sweet crude from the Middle East and Nigeria and return trip them to China with heavy bitumen from the tar sands of Alberta for chemicals and diesel.
The alternative thru northern B.C. is a huge threat to 100 of the best salmon streams on earth, as well as a nightmare bay for tanker docking.
If Keystone isn’t built, the tar sands crude will all have to be used in North America, resulting in a glut, and drastically lower energy prices and a very competitive edge for the return if American manufacturing!
Though Warren Buffet loves the rail shipment of oil option, it is only a matter of time before a train wreck of huge proportions makes that option non-viable.
Build more refineries and chemical plants near the source to use the resource here!!!!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 5:41 PM
See National Review, Oct. 28, for excellent story on Harold Hamm. A true “rags to riches” “pull yourself up by the boot straps” story. The 13th and last child of a share cropper. Pulled cotton with rest of family. Went to school when he could. Borrowed $1,000 from first boss to buy old truck and started hauling in oil fields. Formed his company in 1967 and hit good oil on his first two wells. Now worth 13 Billion. Truly an American success story. Made fortune first. Then college.