A reader asked me a question I could not answer, so I am posting it to see if readers have the answer.
- does anyone know how the propane is getting to Fryburg in the first place: rail, pipe, truck?
- regardless of how it gets there, does anyone know from where the propane is coming (from throughout the Bakken; predominantly from wells in the local area)?
Again, the question: how is propane getting to Fryburg for those 100-car unit trains?
The short answer: a 44-mile pipeline from a natural gas processing plant in central McKenzie County to to a fractionation complex near Belfield formerly known as the Andeavor Logistics Belfield Complex or something to that effect.
Wow, I'm getting burned out, lazy, or senile -- or a combination of all three.
I posted the above note/question earlier this evening and then went to bed about 10:00 p.m. -- I was exhausted -- actually not exhausted but that's another story for another time ...
I woke up shortly after midnight and had my answer. A regular reader of the blog said the answer was here:
Andeavor to invest $150 million in Belfield, ND, NGL Logistics Hub -- February 19, 2018.
LOL. Are you kidding? That's what the reader wrote me.
I had completely forgotten.
Several other links continue the story, all of which I knew at one time and all of which I probably blogged and all of which I have forgotten.
I'm too tired to put together the story, so just the links for now, but I think it pretty much paints the story to answer the reader's question above:
- a new pipeline proposed by Andeavor Logistics would transport growing volumes of natural gas liquids from the core of the Bakken to a rail terminal west of Belfield. The company, formerly known as Tesoro Logistics, has applied to the North Dakota Public Service Commission to construct 44 miles of new pipeline in McKenzie, Billings and Stark counties. -- February 20, 2018
- Andeavor (ANDX) 3Q18 earnings conference call, Motley Foot, November 7, 2018
- MPLX to acquire ANDX Logistics LP, May 8, 2019
- Andeavor Logistics sale expected to close without issue, July 1, 2019
Having some fun with a twist on the RBN Energy report of propane riding the rails from the Bakken to Mexico, after sending the following to a friend (see below), a further bit of potential irony occurred to me:
If unit trains are being loaded with Bakken crude in Fryburg, in all likelihood the facility would also include or be close to the required pre-treater to remove the offending volatiles such as propane, before the tankers give Bakken crude a ride down the rails.
Wouldn't putting that propane right into Mexico-bound tankers be the right thing to do, since crude not propane is the bad guy on the block?
How many tankers would a crude skimmer skim, to fill a tanker with the skimmed propane skimmings?How much propane would a propane skimmer skim if a propane skimmer could skim propane?
The note this reader sent to his friend:
Just read that, in May, 2019, the first 100-car train of propane-filled tanker cars made its way from the Bakken in ND to its destination in Mexico. Since then, three more such unit trains have made it.
Pardon me, Sir, but it kinda, sorta strikes me that, after the media couldn't get enough replays of tankers with Bakken crude in flames and off their rails squeezed into their news cycles, it was revealed that ND's Bakken crude was more volatile than other crude.
Is it really out on a limb to say that oil that will burn has the desired quality?
But, no matter. The stoked fears, public and political reaction called for "North Dakota" crude to be pre-treated,---in effect, somewhat "denatured"---prior to shipment, as if the crude itself was the demon that had made itself burn and explode. Well, the time and cost of pre-treatment must have taught Bakken crude a lesson.
Can't remember when I saw the last tanker of ND Bakken crude in flames. So,---Thank goodness!---the fire from tankers being side-swiped, slipping off sagging rails undercut by a stream, or taking a trip to town without an engine or conductor wasn't the result of human error or mechanical failure.
Note, when crude rises or is brought to the surface from great depths, some of its components, no longer under other than atmospheric pressure to stay bound to the oil, separate and "bubble up" as natural gas, which also has liquid and gas components, one of which is propane. Like the crude oil, propane derives some market value from its inflammability. And, in an engine, also from its ability to explode with great force.
So, let's see if I have this straight. Propane is one of the components that must now be removed from ND crude by pre-treatment, in order to make crude safe to put in tanker trains for shipment. And such volatile component as has been removed from crude is now being put in enough tankers to make up at least 4 unit trains of 100 cars each, all making the trip from Fryburg, ND, to Mexico, without a fire or explosion.
Conclusion: Teaching ND crude oil a lesson has paid off.Wow, I love the milliondollarway blog. I just wish I could remember what I've posted. LOL
But, again, the best thing from all this: feedback from the readers.
This note and derivatives of this note will be posted and re-posted for awhile.
It is simply too rich (pun intended) to forget.