Expanding its presence in the Bakken Shale region, Global Partners LP has agreed to acquire a 60% membership interest in Basin Transload LLC, which operates two transloading facilities in North Dakota with a combined rail loading capacity of 160,000 b/d.

“The dramatic growth in Bakken crude oil production and related rail transport is another key component in Global’s diversification strategy,” said Global CEO Eric Slifka. “Our recently completed Albany rail expansion, for example, serves as a ‘virtual pipeline’ to transport crude and other products from the Midcontinent region to Albany, directly addressing the lack of pipeline infrastructure on the East Coast.

“Our rail shipments to the East Coast average just four or five days, with some completed in as little as two-and-a-half days. From Albany, it’s then just a day to day-and-a-half trip by barge to the East Coast refineries.”

The transloading facilities are 195 miles apart in Columbus and Beulah, ND. The Columbus facility is located along the Canadian Pacific Railway and provides single-line haul service to Global’s recently expanded terminal in Albany, NY. The Beulah site, which supports crude oil production efforts in the Williston Basin, is located along the BNSF Railway with direct long-haul service to the West Coast and Gulf Coast markets. The Partnership owns and operates a 100,000 bbl storage tank and truck offloading rack at the Columbus facility.

Global Partners owns, controls or has access to one of the largest terminal networks of refined petroleum products and renewable fuels in the Northeast, according to the company. It also is one of the largest wholesale distributors of gasoline, distillates, residual oil and renewable fuels in the New England states and New York.

“The strategic locations of the Basin Transload facilities, as well as their proximity and ease of access to key suppliers, create flexibility and logistical advantages for Global,” Slifka said. “These assets enhance our footprint in one of the fastest growing oil producing regions in North America, creating new opportunities to drive product volumes and increase cash flow through a wide range of value-added services to producers and refiners.”

Numerous rail loading and related projects have been completed or announced in the Bakken Shale region as producers have been forced to resort to rail due to a lack of pipelines to meet their needs (see Shale Daily, Oct. 5).

The total purchase price is expected to be approximately $80 million. The remaining 40% membership interest in Basin Transload will be split evenly between current owners TGC LP and MBI Holdings LLC.