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Puget Sound Refinery Crude by Rail Project

Project Overview

Shell's Rail Project, located on Shell property just east of the refinery, is designed to handle unloading of one unit train per day (60,000 barrels) - one full train in and one empty train out. Shell proposes to use a two-track design for unloading with 50 cars per track. The crude oil will be pumped directly from tank cars into on-site crude storage tanks.

The construction of this project will impact roughly 38 acres of property currently being used as pasture but which is designated as wetlands.  Shell has proposed that mitigation for the disturbance and project footprint will be done through the purchase of credits from a local wetlands bank.

Permit applications for the project (over 15) were submitted to appropriate local, state, and federal agencies in late December 2013. Facility start-up is dependent on permit approval timing although construction is anticipated to be approximately 12 months.

This project is not intended to result in an increase in the Refinery's throughput.

Why is the Project necessary?

Puget Sound Crude By Train Project

The Puget Sound Refineries primary crude supply comes from the Alaska North Slope by tanker ship. The production in the Alaska North Slope is in steep decline. At the same time access to a growing domestic supply of crude has become easier. Notably, the other main Washington State refineries have similar projects in operation or under construction.

Our strong focus on safety

The Puget Sound Refinery prides itself on its commitment to safety, and the design choices for the project are consistent with that pledge. Some of the main safety features of this project include:

  • A“bowl” shaped layout to assure cars can’t roll outside of the facility
  • A dedicated air compressor to provide a dry and reliable source of air to rail car brakes; Grounding connections to prevent static electricity build
  • Vibration/overload monitoring and automatic stops on transfer pumps
  • A pond containment system appropriately built to handle heavy rain and a tank car failure
  • A comprehensive fire suppression system that includes a looped line with 40 monitors spaced no more than 200 feet  apart
  • A multiple access roadway for Emergency Response vehicles