North Dakota oil field development specialist Quantum Energy Inc. is planning to take advantage of the abundant Bakken Shale oil reserves and build five "micro refineries" that will produce ready-to-export fuel, Reuters reported.
The company said it would locate the facilities near railheads, with each of the refineries estimated to cost about $500 million, or a total of $2.5 billion. The launch of the refinery network will be financed through a mix of equity and debt financing, the news agency said.
The micro refineries will strip natural gas, refine liquid fuels and recapture carbon dioxide. Each of the facilities will operate at a maximum capacity of about 100,000 barrels per day. The entire amount will be run through a stabilizer and about four-fifths of it will be shipped to local and foreign customers by rail, while some 20,000 barrels will be processed further into diesel fuel, household gas and petrochemicals, Quantum Energy's executive vice president Russell Smith explained in an interview with Reuters.
Smith said that the crude oil the company will process at the new facilities would qualify for export even under existing rules. Thanks to its processing units, a portion of the huge amount of crude currently extracted from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota will be moved to international markets, despite the current ban on crude oil exports.