ExxonMobil rethinks Kearl oil sands shipments

Source: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Imperial Oil are pursuing routes for the safe shipment of smaller equipment modules for the Kearl oil sands project. The companies are reducing the size and weight of the shipments and will seek permits for an additional route that will use four-lane divided highways and not require road closures or highway upgrading. 

“Smaller loads will have reduced dimensions and weight. These shipments can be moved safely and we are working with state authorities to confirm that our transportation plans meet or exceed environmental and safety requirements,” said Chris Allard, Kearl senior project manager. 

The reduction in module size and additional routes are being made necessary by lengthy permitting delays for the original modules size shipments via US 12 through Idaho and Montana. 

“We have met or exceeded the requirements typically imposed on other oversize load shippers that have used the US 12 route,” said Allard. “We will continue to pursue the permits for those full-sized modules through Idaho and Montana, which is more efficient and cost effective. However, we will also move forward with alternative routes to maintain project schedules.” 

For shipments from the Port of Lewiston, ID, in addition to the Highway 12 route, the companies are using an additional route north on US 95 in Idaho, then east along I-90 through Idaho and Montana, and north on I-15 to the Canadian border. Imperial began using this route in mid-July. 

The companies are also pursuing a plan to ship additional loads from the Port of Pasco, WA, by truck on US 395 in Washington and along I-90 through Washington, Idaho and Montana, then north on I-15 to the Canadian border. 

Imperial has submitted detailed transportation plans to regulatory authorities in the states of Washington, Idaho and Montana that minimize public inconvenience, assure safe transport and comply with all transportation and environmental regulations. Movements will be supported by appropriate traffic control and maintenance/support crews.

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