— Josh Fox (@gaslandmovie) April 30, 2014
Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog
Platts confirmed CSX Corporation’s train that exploded in Lynchburg, Virginia was carrying sweet crude obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin. CSXCEO Michael Ward has also confirmed this to Bloomberg.
“Trade sources said the train was carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota and was headed to Plains All American’s terminal in Yorktown,”Platts explained. “The Yorktown facility can unload 130,000 b/d of crude and is located on the site of Plains oil product terminal.”
In January, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a Safety Alert concluding Bakken crude is more flammable than heavier oils. Hence the term “bomb trains.”
At least 50,000 gallons of the oil headed to Yorktown is now missing, according to ABC 13 in Lynchburg. Some of it has spilled into the James River, as previously reported on DeSmogBlog.
A map available on CSX’s website displaying the routes for its crude-by-rail trains offers a clear indication of where the train was headed.
Formerly a refinery owned by Standard Oil and then BP/Amoco, Plains All American has turned the Yorktown refinery into a mega holding facility.
Yorktown may become a key future site for crude oil exports if the ban on exports of oil produced domestically in the U.S. is lifted.
Yorktown: Future Oil Export Mecca?
When asked by an analyst from Bank of America about the ongoing debate over lifting the crude oil export ban, Armstrong discussed how Plains could stand to profit from exports.
“Ultimately we’re positioned, we think well for either answer if they allow blanket exports we have assets in the right places that can help build that market niche,” said Anderson.
Harry Pefanis, President and COO for Plains, sang a similar tune to Anderson.
“I guess if I also just add to that if there was export…we’ve got couple of locations that we could load ocean-going vessels. Yorktown is a location where we can rail-in and load out an ocean-going vessel,” Pefanis explained.
Keystone XL Connection
It’s only a matter of time until the familiar oil industry overture begins. That is, pointing to the Lynchburg disaster as the reason why the northern leg of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline must be built.