Bakken gets new oil refinery, U.S.' first in 35 years

The U.S. could see a new oil refinery for the first time in decades, as fuel demand within the oil industry itself spikes, according to Reuters.

Much has been made recently of the lack of approval for new nuclear power plants, but the country also has not seen another oil refining plant built in 35 years.

However, the Bakken shale oil fields in North Dakota have created a booming economy that is heavily reliant on a variety of different diesel-powered vehicles. With only one refinery in the state, a 58,000 barrel per day diesel plant owned by Tesoro Corp, demand often dramatically outstrips production, particularly if there are any issues at the distant facilities in the Midwest that supply much of the state's diesel.

"Trucks arrive at the loading station and some wait three to four hours and others in excess of eight hours," Bud Kerr, operations manager at hauling company J5, told Reuters. "The problem appears to be worse than what it was last year."

In response, Dakota Oil Process plans to build a 20,000 barrel-per-day refining plant that could fill around 10 percent of the state's diesel needs.

Reuters reports that the Bakken oil field also recently added its first new rail line to carry the region's output to larger refineries to the south.

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