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First crude oil unit train departs Meritage Midstream’s Black Thunder Terminal at Arch coal mine

Meritage Midstream Services II, LLC announced that the first crude oil unit train loaded at its Black Thunder Terminal departed the Wyoming terminal on Friday. The 99-car train is carrying 70,000 barrels of crude oil to a refinery on the East Coast for the terminal’s anchor shipper, Black Thunder Marketing, LLC.

All of the train’s tank cars are new and meet the safety standards adopted earlier this year by the American Association of Railroads. The Black Thunder Terminal, LLC is a joint venture between Meritage Midstream and Arch Coal. Dual-served by the Union Pacific and BNSF railways, the terminal is located at the Black Thunder mining complex in Campbell County, Wyoming, in the heart of the Powder River Basin’s drilling activity.

The Black Thunder Terminal provides outbound rail-to-market optionality for crude oil production from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.

A crude oil unit train arrives for loading at Meritage Midstream’s Black Thunder Terminal. One of the mine’s high-speed coal loadouts is visible in the background. Click to enlarge.

Phase I truck-to-train transload service has been fully operational at Black Thunder since the beginning of March. Current transload capacity is 10,000 barrels per day. Landing and loading space is available. Construction of Phase II high-speed loading facilities is expected to begin later this year.

The Phase II facility will include up to four 100,000-barrel storage tanks and a 15-car rack system capable of loading 15 to 18 cars per hour. Target total loading time is 15 hours. High-speed loading service is expected to be available in 2015. The terminal’s location at the Black Thunder mining complex provides room for additional expansion.



Let's hope that those new tanker cars are much safer than current DoT-111 models and that railroads will be upgraded and better maintained to avoid more disasters.

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