Shell’s rail unloading facility in Puget Sound moves forward

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Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery on March Point is moving closer to building a rail offloading facility for crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken formation now that high-level design work has been completed and the company is ready to apply for 17 permits required before construction starts.

Shell needs the offloading facility to accept 100-car trains carrying roughly 60,000 barrels of crude oil from the formation, Refinery General Manager Thomas Rizzo said. The facility will be designed to handle up to one train in and out per day.

Shell has no plans for the rail facility to increase capacity at the 145,000-barrel-per-day refinery, but Rizzo said less crude oil will be coming from two current sources: Alaska’s North Slope via tanker and to a lesser extent, Canada by pipeline.