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A refining moment

I just learned this morning that Dakota Oil Processing LLC out of Wild and Wooley Wiliston, North Dakota, is trying to obtain financing and permits to construct a 200 million dollar 20,000 refinery some 16 miles out of Williston. The purpose for this refinery will be to produce mainly diesel to support the Bakken oil action and other local markets. If this happens, it sounds like it’s going to take more equipment than is in our KSEN Radio control room. I mean, we’re talking an atmospheric tower distillation unit and associated boilers, desalters, a distillate hydrotreater and associated hydrogen generator to be used for producing ultralow sulfur diesel, a naphtha stabilizer, tankage, and related facilities. Two middle distillate products, kerosene and diesel, are to be blended to maximize the production of diesel fuel, the primary product for which the plant is designed. My sources tell me that at capacity, this plant could produce as much as 8,000 barrels per day of ultralow-sulfur diesel. Light and heavy naphtha, about 30% of the output stream, would probably be shipped by rail to Canada to be used as a diluent for bitumen. Feedstock would be Bakken 41.9 gravity sweet crude and locally produced natural gas. It sounds like it the operation could begin as early as late 2013 and would take at least 18 months to construct. The nearly 200 drilling rigs working in the Bakken consume an average of 1500 gallons per day of diesel with hundreds of trucks serving drilling, casing, fracturing, pipeline, and other support operations. Diesel locomotives pull unit trains that ship the Bakken crude south from North Dakota and Montana. Dakota Oil Processing, the company trying to build this refinery, says that oil production in the Bakken is nearing 500,000 barrels per day and is growing by as much as 10% monthly. Out North Dakota way, they’re definately “rockin’ the Bakken” but around here, we’re getting ready to “fume on the front”.

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