Thursday, February 27, 2014

California: The ‘last frontier’ for delivering crude oil by rail

Yes. No pipeline capacity available.  Why doesn't that surprise me?  CA out put is decreasing, driving up demand and dependence on foreign oil.  C'mon CA!  No blood for oil!!

So now they are forced to ship oil into the state by ship and rail.  I have to wonder how many, if any of the plans will actually bear fruit.  And why?  Environmental impact studies that will probably go on for years.  I predict 10 years.

Proposals to build new oil-by-rail complexes in the western U.S. are coming up against increasing scrutiny from state and local regulators following a series of derailments involving crude, including the July explosion of a train carrying Bakken that killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec.

The city of Benicia, Calif., delayed Valero’s plans to build a rail-offloading station at the 170,000-barrel-a-day Benicia refinery in Northern California to perform an environmental review. Valero, which planned to finish the project by late 2013, said Feb. 13 that it now expects to start the service by the first quarter of 2015.

“That is somewhat dependent on the permitting process,” Joseph Gorder, Valero’s president and chief operating officer, said at the Credit Suisse Global Energy Summit in Vail, Colo.

The city of Pittsburg, Calif., is reopening parts of an environmental review of WesPac Energy LLC’s proposal to upgrade a fuel terminal that would be capable of unloading crude from five trains a week. The Irvine-based company, which jointly owns the project with Oiltanking Holdings Americas Inc., planned to begin work on the rail terminal this quarter.

Pittsburg decided based on public comments that more information is required for the review, Joe Sbranti, the city manager, said in a Feb. 18 letter to WesPac.

Washington state regulators reversed the approval of two terminals in November that would have allowed companies to unload oil from rail cars at the Port of Grays Harbor and load them onto marine vessels.

Companies including Tesoro, the largest refiner on the West Coast, have pledged to improve the safety of moving crude by rail by using newer rail cars and better routin

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