A major oil pipeline company is teaming with a local grain elevator to increase its ability to move Bakken crude oil out of the region.
Enbridge and Berthold Farmers Elevator talked about the cooperative agreement today with Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer.
Berthold Farmers Elevator is providing the manpower and management of the rail facility where oil will be loaded and transferred for rail shipment to refineries.
The idea started about a year ago with elevator manager Dan DeRouchey.
He was looking for a way to augment elevator income because last year's wet spring left the elevator - and the farmers it serves - facing a very bleak year.
Dan DeRopuchey, Berthold Farmers Elevator Manager) "I talked to the board members and one said call Enbridge, they might have some ideas. They've been doing some expansion over the last couple of years, so that's really where it came from."
(Kelly Wilkins, Enbridge) "Dan's company and people will load the cars and dispatch the trains. They'll be in control of how that works so it doesn't interfere with the grain business so we'll all be one big team."
(Dan DeRopuchey, Berthold Farmers Elevator Manager) "We're getting employees hired. We're expecting to receive our first oil cars later this month. We'll be loading full bore on phase one early this September."
Berthold Farmers Elevator will be hiring 40 people to work in the oil loading business - more than tripling the total number of employees at the elevator.
The new shipping option for Enbridge will help to raise its capacity to move oil from North Dakota to about 475,000 barrels per day by January - more than half of the total amount of oil being shipped from the state.