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Energy & Environment

Philadelphia refinery shutdown could affect ND oil producers

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The shutdown of a Philadelphia oil refinery could have some impact on Bakken crude.

A fire severely damaged Philadelphia Energy Solutions, a 335,000 barrel a day refinery. After the fire, the company said it was shuttering the 150-year old plant.

It was taking Bakken crude by rail.

"The crude oil that was going there by rail is now going to have to find another export," said North Dakota Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms.

One potential destination is the Gulf Coast, also by rail.

"But that offers a lower price, in the neighborhood of $3 to $4 per barrel," Helm said.

The West Coast is another potential market. But Helms said with the current situation in Washington, where Bakken crude would likely be unable to be off-loaded at Washington state refineries, that doesn't look promising.

'Overall, it could result in lower oil prices for North Dakota producers, in the $3 to $4 range, on about 20 to 25 percent of our crude oil production," Helms said. "A small decrease, but certainly a negative."

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