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Showing posts from September, 2016

The Pipeline Protests

Despite being one of the country's top producers of oil, there are only a couple refineries in North Dakota. One, which was built to take Bakken high sulfur sour crude and turn it into diesel to be sold directly to local farmers, was recently sold at a loss. There were plans for more, one near where I grew up in Devils Lake, one proposed on the Fort Berthold Reservation that likely won't be built for a bunch of dramatic reasons, as well as others. 

With most of it not heading directly to market, North Dakota oil needs to be shipped to be refined. This means sending it to huge refineries in places like Texas and Oklahoma. Most of it goes by rail. This was a huge problem for other rail traffic (primarily agriculture) during the oil boom. While it was a problem, and a pipeline was brought up then, profitability was high enough to deal with the rail congestion. Now, with the needing to be heavily refined nasty ND oil barely worth anything, the pipeline is seen as the most cost effe…