‘Micro refineries’ a solution to oil-train woes, energy firm says

A handful of small refineries in North Dakota could remove dangerous gas from oil train cargoes and make shipments from the state’s productive Bakken shale area safer on the tracks, according to a company which has pitched the idea to regulators.The proposal from Quantum Energy Inc would strip propane and other volatile gas from North Dakota crude and send much of the remaining fuel to distant refineries.Williston, North Dakota-based Quantum hopes to build five “micro refineries” near railheads already handling Bakken crude to strip about 100,000 barrels a day of fuel from that stream.Some of the resultant gas could add to household fuel supplies in the upper Midwest while making Bakken-origin rail cargoes safer, Quantum’s executive vice president Russell Smith told Reuters.”Our plan solves a couple of important problems,” said Smith, who earlier this month pitched the idea in meetings with White House officials and Transportation Department regulators mulling oil train safety.Besides light fuels, Smith said, the Quantum facilities would also pull a stream of diesel gasoline from Bakken sources to help slake demand in the region. Executives hope to have permits and financing to break ground on at least one of the proposed refineries before year-end.

via 'Micro refineries' a solution to oil-train woes, energy firm says | Reuters.

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