Tuesday, April 30, 2013

North Dakota or bust

So what does all the North Dakota oil development have to do with you? More than you know.

I already mentioned a Bureau of Labor Statistics report out on the impact of all the new oil production in North Dakota: Employment and wage changes in oil-producing counties in the Bakken Formation, 2007–2011

But now if you look at photo #1 in the PG's Photo of the Day spread for today April 30 (they don't have hard links for the photos unfortunately, so you may have to look for it) there is a neat photo of a long string of tanker cars moving along a Norfolk Southern line right through the middle of the city. The kid in me remains an observer of trains and I am not sure I am used to seeing so many tanker cars moving through the city in the past. Lots of coal and related products, along with routine freight and occasionally empty auto carriers, but not such an immense number of tankers.

I would speculate that whole string of cars is filled with oil moving directly from North Dakota to the Delta Airlines refinery outside of Philadelphia. This was a refinery that was going to close because it no longer could be profitably using imported oil as inputs that used to come via sea.  The plant was re-engineered to use oil from the ever increasing production in North Dakota when purchased by Delta in a strange move for an airline. Problem is, not pipeline infrastructure to move oil from North Dakota to Philadelphia. Thus the refinery is now dependent on getting its oil via rail... and draw the line between North Dakota and Philadelphia what do you get?   I wonder if Amtrak delays are getting worse?  Who cares right? What's another few hours for an Amtrak trip in Pennsylvania west of Harrisburg.

Speaking of Delta...  Paris direct resumes in a couple weeks (saving Ken the trouble of reminding us).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

amtrak delays have not been getting worse thankfully. I wondered the same thing myself about the tankers. In Philly the refineries are all set up to receive oil by ship so the oil is sent to a facility to be transloaded onto ships for final delivery. they just finished work on a high volume loading/unloading facility.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 5:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merci, Chris.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 1:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fwiw, I suspect the volume will increase because the second refinery owned by the carlyle group isn't up to speed yet. I'm a big fan of the pennsylvanian train though wish it ran more often and faster. unlike the route to DC, it's a former 4 track right of way (from Philadelphia to Chicago via Pittsburgh) so has plenty of room to add capacity. It seems to me that latrobe must have lost big when they lost train service, it's only a 50 minute ride even today from latrobe to the burgh. do you know when reliable service ended? my low quality map from 1957 shows that there were about 25-28 trains a day (12 regional trains, 16 through trains)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 2:54:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Excellent. Wonkiest readership in the blogosphere. I didn't realize they had to tranship oil for the refinery, but makes sense. I just thought rail traffic was already pretty clogged so all this new demand??

but I don't know when.. circa formation of Amtrak??

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 9:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know, it's my suspicion that the lack of good rail access to latrobe is depressing it, particularly the town center. even today it's only a 50 minute ride, the bus is 80 minutes. As far as rail traffic, I'd guess it's offsetting declining coal demand. there is, theoretically, a point where the traffic will affect operations but NS is pretty efficient. the route to Philadelpha is old but not as old as the B&O route to washington and much better engineered. In the wonderful US of A the modern, well engineered line (old western maryland)became a rail trail and the ancient right of way became the clogged CSX railroad. it's sad to think that the passenger trip to philadelphia is 34 minutes longer than it was during the depression when it ran on steam. At least the Pennsylvanian is is one of the top performers for OTP, so we got that going for us.here's an article on a new facility in eddystone, pa. it's not carlye but alocal company. looks like the volume is due to get larger in the fall.

Thursday, May 02, 2013 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Movers and Packers Lucknow said...

Nice post! Thanks the great information, I'll be back to check up for an update!

Saturday, May 04, 2013 4:34:00 AM  

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