Irving Oil Corp. is moving more than 90,000 barrels a day of crude from Alberta and North Dakota by rail to its Saint John refinery, Canada’s largest, and plans to increase those shipments, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Alberta crude is coming by rail directly to the Irving refinery rail terminal in New Brunswick and Bakken oil is moving by rail to a port in Albany, New York, then shipped by marine tanker to Saint John, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the closely held company’s transportation plans are private.
Irving, based in Saint John, is saving money on crude brought in by rail instead of using oil from the North Sea, the Middle East or Africa because North American prices are lower. The Irving refinery is among plants on the continent’s east coast cut off from pipelines that move crude from expanding production in the Bakken shale formation and Alberta’s oil sands.
The price of Western Canada Select, a benchmark for heavy Alberta crude, was $56.98 a barrel today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Brent oil futures, a global benchmark, rose 2.2 percent to $111.24 for February settlement.
Irving’s Saint John refinery has a capacity of 298,800 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Carolyn Van der Veen, a spokeswoman for Irving, wasn’t immediately available to comment when contacted during a Canadian holiday.