Where is all the oil being trucked into North Dakota coming from?

The mysterious case of nearly 100,000 bpd being trucked from Canada into North Dakota

Bismarck, N.D.  – North Dakota reports that nearly 100,000 bpd of oil is coming into their state from Canada, by truck, but folks in southeast Saskatchewan have been telling Pipeline Newsthey don’t know where that’s coming from.

So we reached out by email to Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, which put out those numbers. He replied on July 20. The answer: it’s sour, heavy oil, coming in through North Portal/Portal.

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“You are correct that the numbers make most folks do a double take. The data I use in my chart comes from US International Trade Commission online database,” he said.  

“I wanted to try and double check the numbers and have found similar data through the US EIA. The charts below compare the ITC and EIA data for both imports and exports.

“The top (imports) chart shows very close relationship between the US ITC and US EIA data for imports into ND. This is encouraging and helps add some confidence in the numbers.

“The second chart (exports) compares the EIA PADD 2 (all of the Midwest) exports to Canada. You can see that the total EIA Midwest exports trend with the ITC ND data. (The difference in the EIA and ND ITC would be all other PADD areas). This correlation, again, adds confidence to the export numbers from North Dakota.”

Kringstad added, “I do not have any North Dakota facility/terminal details on where the imported crude from Canada is delivered, but I have been able to deduce the following as I have explored the topic:

-The majority of the imports come through the Portal, N.D., area.

-The majority of the crude being imported to ND is a heavier barrel approximately 20API gravity

-The majority of the crude being imported to ND is a sour barrel approximately 3 per cent sulfur.”

Kringstad concluded, “While I cannot confirm with absolute certainty, I would speculate that most the heavier, sour, barrels are being blended with light sweet ND barrels and most are being marketed by rail and lesser amounts by pipeline.”


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