Enbridge to expand Bakken shale crude rail terminal

Enbridge Energy Partners LP (EEP) will expand its Berthold rail terminal capacity in the Bakken shale by 80,000 b/d and include a rail car loading facility to accommodate the additional volume. EEP has contractual commitments for 70% of the rail loading capacity and anticipates it will soon finalize agreements for the remaining capacity.

The Berthold Rail Project includes construction of a double-loop unit-train facility, crude oil tankage, and other terminal facilities adjacent to its existing facilities near Berthold, ND. The project will have capacity to stage three unit-trains at Berthold at any given time. After an initial 10,000 b/d Phase I start-up in July 2012, the full 80,000 b/d of rail export capacity will enter service in early 2013.

EEP described the $145 million project as complementing its Bakken Expansion Program, integrating gathering pipeline capacity in western North Dakota and eastern Montana with increased North Dakota export capacity.

EEP expects Bakken Expansion, announced August 2010, to add 145,000 b/d of takeaway capacity from the Bakken and Three Forks formations in Montana, North Dakota, and southeast Saskatchewan, 25,000 b/d of which is already available (OGJ Online, Feb. 18, 2011). The company expects the remaining 120,000 b/d to enter service by early 2013, a slight delay from initial predictions of late 2012. The Bakken Expansion will cost roughly $370 million for the US projects and $190 million (Can.) for the Canadian projects.

EEP also announced the $90 million Bakken Access Program in October. Bakken Access involves increasing gathering pipeline capacities, construction of additional storage tanks, and addition of truck access facilities at multiple locations in western North Dakota to supply the Bakken Expansion.

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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