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Hess Corp. plans to ship ND crude oil by rail
Thursday June 24, 2010, 12:15 pm EDT

Hess Corp. plans $48 million rail facility to ship North Dakota crude out of state

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- A New York-based oil and gas company is proposing a $48 million railroad terminal in northwestern North Dakota to ship crude out of state.

Hess Corp. said the so-called load-out facility near Tioga would be capable of shipping 120,000 barrels of crude daily on two trains, each consisting of 100 rail cars and three locomotives.

Maripat Sexton, a Hess spokeswoman in Houston, said the company wants to begin construction in July and have it completed in 18 months.

Sexton said the company has not determined the shipping destination for the North Dakota sweet crude.

"At this point, it's a matter of the marketplace," she said.

In its proposal to Tioga officials, Hess said crude from the state's oil patch would be shipped by pipeline to the rail facility, located on about 400 acres it owns near the city. The facility would run 24 hours per day at full capacity, with about 20 workers per shift, the company said.

A building permit for the project was approved on Monday, City Auditor Jamie Eraas said. Tioga city commissioners are slated to decide on a permit for temporary housing at the site on July 6, she said.

North Dakota's pipeline, rail and refining capacity is about 400,000 barrels a day and more than double the volume two years ago, said Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority.

North Dakota surpassed Louisiana last year as the fourth-largest oil-producing U.S. state, with nearly 80 million barrels of oil. Hess was the fifth-biggest oil producer in North Dakota last year with about 6.6 million barrels, industry records show.

Hess announced in April that it also plans a $325 million expansion to its natural gas plant in Tioga. The company said it wants to increase capacity at the plant from 100 million cubic feet of natural gas daily to 250 million cubic feet.

The plant was built in 1954. The company said it wants to start construction on the expansion project next March and complete it in late 2012.

"Obviously, we're growing in North Dakota," Sexton said.

Source: Associated Press

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