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Bakken oil sees minor movement delays

A Continental Resources executive stated Friday that the company is looking at minor delays in the shipment of oil in the wake of last week’s train incident near Casselton.

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Warren Henry, the vice president of investor relations for one of the biggest oil companies working in North Dakota, added that production likely wouldn’t be affected by the oil train derailment and collision on Dec. 30.

“Thank God nobody was hurt — that’s the main thing,” Henry stated in an email to The Press. “We’re looking at the likelihood of minor delays at least into early next week as the rail companies re-route eastward shipments around the accident. There’s no effect on westbound or southbound shipments or pipe.”

In Dickinson on Friday, just east of the Bakken Oil Express rail terminal, trains moved throughout the day and BNSF Railway relayed on Thursday that the two main Casselton rail tracks had resumed operations.

Henry added that the production of Bakken crude for the oil industry giant would not be affected by the train incident, but has been slowed slightly by colder-than-average temperatures in the Bakken region — which is facing another cold snap — during the past several weeks.

The Williston area, like the rest of North Dakota, was in a blizzard warning Friday and felt the brunt of the winter weather that moved through the state. Highs between 10 and 20 degrees below zero have been forecast for Sunday and Monday throughout western North Dakota, according to multiple weather reports. Temperatures, however, are predicted to rebound the double-digits by late next week.

“The severe cold the last 30 days has slowed us down a bit,” Henry stated. “Although, it typically does in North Dakota.”

XTO Energy spokesperson Emily Snooks and North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources public information officer Alison Ritter both stated Friday that they hadn’t heard of any delays in the shipment of oil out of western North Dakota.”

Both of North Dakota’s U.S. senators, Republican John Hoeven and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, plan to meet with BNSF CEO Matthew Rose this week in Texas to discuss the Casselton incident and aftermath.

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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