Drilling and crude oil production in the Bakken has developed much faster than the gathering and pipeline infrastructure necessary to move the barrels. Consequently, over the past two years rail has become a significant feature of crude oil transportation in the region. According to the North Dakota Pipeline Authority, the capacity of rail terminals in the state was about 300,000 b/d at the end of 2011, and will reach 750,000 b/d this year. But there is a catch. The rail lines in North Dakota were not built for this kind of traffic.
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