ANACORTES, Wash. — On Thursday morning Shell Oil will be meeting with officials from a county in Washington state to talk about plans to build a rail extension to deliver oil from North Dakota to its refinery near Puget Sound.
Shell Oil wants to build a 5,500 foot-long rail extension to bring oil trains from the existing BNSF Railway line to their refinery in Anacortes, according to the pre-development meeting documents.
The tracks would enable up to six trains per week to deliver petroleum from the Bakken Oil Fields of North Dakota - trains measuring more than a mile in length.
The company says receiving oil by rail will not increase its overall refinery output because the amount of petroleum arriving from Alaska has decreased in recent years.
Shell says the project could destroy some wetlands. It has applied for a permit with the Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act.
Shell’s Anacortes refinery in Skagit County is the second largest in the state.
There are now three places in Washington receiving oil by rail, with seven others considering new rail-to-ship or rail-to-refinery projects.
The largest would be at the Port of Vancouver, across the Columbia River from Portland.
Oil arriving by rail is not taxed to pay for spill clean up, unlike oil that arrives by ship.
Click markers for details. Blue: proposed. Red: underway.