SAFETY FIRST, PLAIN AND SIMPLE
By LYNN WOLF
A hearing is scheduled at the Department of Mineral Resources, 1000 E
Calgary Ave, Bismarck ND, for September 23rd 2014, at 9 AM, to discuss best
way to prepare Bakken Crude for safe transport by rail. Stabilization is the
The public and the oil industry will both have a chance to comment on what
each feels is best for North Dakota and the Nation. The rest of the nation
will be watching as North Dakota regulators decide on a method to stabilize
Bakken – ND crude. Our regulators must make their decision based on what
will make Bakken crude the safest; not what method will cost the oil
industry the least.
This past week I received the City of Fargo Fall Newsletter in the mail. It
explained Fargo’s preparation to ensure city safety by listing their
emergency protocols as well as all the equipment & emergency supplies the
Fargo Fire Department is storing for Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF).
This is to insure rapid response in case of a train explosion. I am glad
Fargo is ready in case of a catastrophe involving explosive Bakken crude
What about the towns that are not able to make the same deal Fargo made with
BNSF? A train derailment of Bakken crude has already claimed the lives of
over 40 people in the small town of Lac Megantic, Quebec. A similar
derailment resulted in billions of dollars of damage in nearby Casselton,
North Dakota. Fortunately, there was no loss of life.
The best solution to ensure trains do not become rolling bombs through our
communities is to stabilize the crude by stripping out natural gas liquids
(NGLs) before it is loaded in tank rail cars.
Stabilization and conditioning are two processes that exist to potentially
strip NGLs: from Bakken crude.
Stabilization is the tried and true method used in Texas oil fields.
Stabilization processes requires the construction of processing equipment
which North Dakota needs.
Conditioning is an unreliable method, which uses a separation process at the
wellhead to strip NGLs. Conditioning does not require the infrastructure
like stabilization. However, Conditioning is not an effective stripping
method of the NGL’s to be safe for our communities.
Let’s fill the meeting room with concerned citizens to voice our concerns to
the Department of Mineral Resources and the North Dakota Industrial
Again this is about safety first, plain and simple.