Train Kept A-Rollin’: Companies Invest in Bakken Infrastructure


So much thought and energy is put into getting oil and gas out of the ground, that it can be easy for a lay person to forget about the infrastructure needed to transport these resources to places where they can be sold.

However, those in the industry know the importance of infrastructure when it comes to their operations, and a number of major companies recently said they would be working in such a capacity in the Bakken formation, both on the U.S. and Candian sides.

Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP:NYSE) recently announced that it would be investing $145 million in its North Dakota crude oil system.

The company – which focuses on transporting oil and gas in the U.S. – said that the money would go to increasing the capacity of its Berthold terminal by 80,000 barrels per day; it started handling 10,000 barrels per day in July. In addition, there will be a new rail car loading facility. It is hoped that the additional capacity will be in-service by early 2013, reports Dow Jones Newswires.

President Mark Maki said that the expansion wouldn’t just help Enbridge, but other companies in the area as well.

“Importantly, it allows producers and shippers the ability to continue to grow their business while Enbridge develops the next phase of pipeline expansions on the Enbridge North Dakota System,” he said.

Enbridge isn’t the only company looking to ship oil and gas out of the Bakken, as Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. said that it would spend C$90 million to increase its shipments out of both North Dakota’s and Saskatchewan’s sections of the formation.

The company anticipates that shipments out of the formation will reach 70,000 cars per year.