Could Philadelphia Become 'Cushing East'?

The common ground that Canopy and Enbridge discovered materialized into a JV called Eddystone Rail Co., which Enbridge formally announced Nov. 26 of last year. Enbridge owns a 75-percent stake in the JV, with Canopy holding the remaining interest.

"We saw some great potential on the Delaware River with the refining capacity out there," said Kevin Hatfield, vice president of Enbridge Gathering Systems.

Approximately 550,000 barrels per day of crude is currently being shipped by rail out of the Bakken and more than 70 percent of that volume goes to the Gulf Coast, Hatfield noted. With North Dakota's oil production rising toward an estimated peak ranging from 1.2 to 2.1 million barrels per day, pipelines cannot be built fast enough to accommodate the state's surging production growth, he added. For Enbridge, directing production to the East Coast by rail represents one near-term solution to easing export capacity constraints.

"That's one of the beauties of rail," said Hatfield. "It's quick to market."

Re-Purposing and Expanding Existing Infrastructure

The first phase of the project, which the JV expects to conclude by the end of this year, entails reconfiguring the existing rail loop to accommodate unit trains with up to 120 tank cars – the equivalent of approximately 80,000 barrels per day of crude oil. In addition, the JV will install crude offloading equipment, refurbish the existing oil storage tank and upgrade the site's loading facility for outbound barges.

The JV will look to expand the facility to receive up to 160,000 barrels per day of crude via rail and barge by late 2014. It is also exploring a Phase 2 for the project: possibly adding distribution pipeline capacity to the PES Philadelphia, Monroe Trainer and PBF Paulsboro refineries and expanding fungible crude storage capacity to at least 400,000 barrels. After Phase 1, the projected time to receive, unload and turn around a unit train will be within 12 hours. Phase 2 would trim approximately 4 hours off that period.


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Edward Young  |  May 22, 2013
This is the perfect solution for supplying the Northeast refineries. The cost, time, and regulations to build/rebuild pipelines would be enormous. Forget the differance in transportation costs rail vs pipeline. How many billions of dollars and how many years before an adequate pipeline system could be built. There is another player rapidly coming into the game. The production of crude, diesel, and other liquid and gas commodties being produced from natural gas.Most notably at the wellhead. This technology will recover stranded and flare gas situations and has the potential to take the place of building extensive and expensive pipelines.The economic potential of NG to GTL to a refinery or chemical company can be a leading force of American independence of imported oil or gas.
Randy Parsons  |  May 20, 2013
Nice job. Its Great to see companies doing new and exciting things to use and save the past. As we all know if you would have tried to build a new refinery it would have never got past the permitting process. Thanks