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Tesoro moves Bakken to Alaska

08 May 2015 22:19 (+01:00 GMT)
Tesoro moves Bakken to Alaska

Houston, 8 May (Argus) — Tesoro will deliver 1.6mn bl of Bakken crude into its Alaska refining system in the first half of 2015 as the midcontinent crude continues to upend traditional west coast slates.

Bakken offers a $5/bl to $7/bl advantage to the west coast benchmark Alaskan North Slope (ANS) in the US independent refiner's predominantly west coast system, the company said. Tesoro has worked to increase supply of the light, sweet feedstock in its refineries and to pressure pricing on ANS blends.

Tesoro is the last major fuels refiner operating in Alaska. Its 72,000 b/d refinery in Kenai, Alaska, southwest of Anchorage in Cook Inlet, supplies jet fuel, gasoline and diesel, including to Flint Hills Resources, which shut down its North Pole refinery last year. Tesoro has previously said it can run 20,000 b/d to 30,000 b/d of Bakken crude at Kenai with little modification. The facility was built to run on Cook Inlet crude and similar light, sweet crudes.

Tesoro plans to use a 360,000 b/d proposed rail offloading terminal in Vancouver, Washington, to supply its west coast refining system including Kenai with greater volumes of Bakken crudes. That facility continues to inch through a state permitting process chief executive Greg Goff called "painfully slow" during a morning conference call to discuss earnings.

Tesoro now expects a draft environmental report from the commission this summer, with a final ruling by a state energy site review commission and, ultimately, the governor to follow.

"But at the end of the day, we're somewhat at the mercy of how that progresses," Goff said.


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