Texas company to open first Ohio rail terminal for transporting shale products

Staff report


A Dallas-based midstream company announced Wednesday that it would reactivate a rail loading terminal that will help transport up to 24,000 barrels of light oil condensate and other crude oils from the Utica Shale play to markets each day.

The reopening of the Black Run rail loading terminal, in Frazeysburg, Ohio — about two hours south of Youngstown in Muskingum County — will be the state’s first rail facility dedicated to moving products from the Utica.

The move comes at a time when choke points across the country, where pipelines can’t be built fast enough to keep pace with U.S. oil and gas production brought on by the shale boom, have meant more oil moving by rail to the Gulf Coast and points east and west for storage or refining.

Black Run is on the Ohio Central Railroad, a 70-mile short line that interchanges with the Columbus and Ohio River Railroad, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, Ohio Southern Railroad and Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway, which all traverse the state.

“We are pleased to be at the forefront of moving product by rail in an area where there is a lack of transloading capabilities,” said Barry E. Davis, president and chief executive officer of Crosstex Energy, which made the announcement. “Our Ohio River Valley assets continue to provide Crosstex with an exceptional growth opportunity as more wells come on line in the Utica Shale.”

The Black Run facility is a state-of-the-art 20-car rail rack designed to top load, or stack, multiple products. The news comes against a backdrop of billions of dollars invested in the state in recent months to build the infrastructure necessary to move oil and gas from the Utica Shale play.

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