Maximizing the Efficiencies of Crude-By-Rail By Reducing Diluent and Solidification
Over the past ten years, the use of rail to augment and supplement the transportation of crude oil by pipelines has increased. Today, crude-by-rail is an accepted and active part of the midstream transportation portfolio. However, economically moving bitumen within North America and especially to overseas global markets by rail has posed some challenges. Transportation of heavy crudes normally involves blending high amounts of diluent in order to meet pipeline viscosity requirements.
These requirements are not needed to move crude by rail and the avoidance of the diluent can increase netbacks, lower emissions, promote safety and protect the environment. The lack of diluent can further allow the bitumen to be solidified for transport and later reliquified for use at destination. Solidification is particularly applicable to the extra-heavy range of bitumen and can open up new global markets for this product.
James Auld Biography:
James Auld, Senior Manager, Corporate Development, Rail Centric Supply Chain, joined CN in November 2013 working on CN’s strategic initiatives for developing business in Western Canada. This work lead to the development of “CanaPux”, a process to solidify heavy crude oil for rail transportation and return it back to a liquid at destination. Prior to joining CN, Mr. Auld spent over 26 years in the oil and gas sector focused on midstream assets such as storage, pipelines, processing, refining and terminals. Mr. Auld has held key roles in marketing, trading, operations and business development. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University, a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Calgary, a Strategic Leadership Certificate from the University of British Columbia, and has completed CN's Railroad MBA program.