Other Crude Oil Transport Projects

Numerous terminal proposals in the Pacific Northwest could result in a total of 100 oil trains moving through the Gorge weekly

Other Crude Oil Transport Projects
An oil train travels over Drano Lake in the eastern Columbia Gorge, heading for an existing Northwest oil terminal. (photographer: Joe Urmos)

Read updates and descriptions of all the proposed Pacific Northwest crude oil terminals - all of which would receive oil trains from the Columbia Gorge.

While Tesoro’s “Vancouver Energy” proposal is by far the biggest of the Northwest oil-by-rail projects, numerous smaller oil terminals have been proposed or are already operating. Even leaving the Tesoro proposal out of the equation, if all of these projects were to come online the Columbia River Gorge would see an additional 30 mile-long trains each week, the explosive cargo of Bakken crude posing a disastrous threat to the Columbia River and communities along the rail route.
Five terminal proposals have been defeated, but several more remain. (Map created by Sightline Institute)

Proposed Projects - Updates

Vancouver, WA

Rejected: The NuStar terminal in Vancouver, WA was granted a permit to handle ethanol in March 2017, with the condition that an application to handle crude oil was officially dropped.

Grays Harbor, WA

There were three terminals proposed for development or expansion near Hoquiam, WA.

Port Westward, OR

Withdrawn: In January, Global Partners laid off eight percent of its work force and aims to handle only ethanol, not crude, at its rail terminal in Oregon in response to the nearly 70 percent plunge in oil prices since mid-2014. Before January, the terminal had received all necessary regulatory approval and was exporting crude oil. Global Partners accomplished this by manipulating loopholes in the regulatory system to get adjustments for an existing biofuel facility instead of going through a more in-depth and full permit review with public input that a new facility would have required. They also acquired approval and funding to expand the dock near their facility to increase their export capabilities and receive larger ships. That project is slated to be finished in the third quarter this year. Global Partners could elect to again handle crude oil should market conditions improve.

Longview, WA

Rejected: Waterside Energy (also called Riverside Refining), which is led by the same people who were behind the failed TransMessis Columbia Plateau biofuels plant in Odessa, WA, is seeking permits for a new oil refinery and propane terminal in Longview, WA. After being abandoned in 2014, the Odessa plant required more than $400,000 worth of environmental cleanup. The EPA estimates final cleanup costs will be around $580,000. There has not been a public hearing or comment period scheduled yet for the Waterside refinery proposal.

Anacortes, WA: UPDATE Oct. 2016 - Proposal abandoned!

Shell’s refinery in Anacortes, WA. A proposal to add capacity to the facility that would have resulted in an additional 60,000 barrels of explosive Bakken crude oil each day was abandoned in October 2016. (photographer: Walter Siegmund/Wikipedia Commons)

All Proposed Oil by Rail Projects - by the Numbers

Vancouver, WA

Project Name: Vancouver Energy (Read details of project)
Developer: Tesoro Savage
Operating capacity: 360,000 barrels per day – 36 trains per week

Project Name: NuStar terminal
Developer: NuStar Energy
Operating capacity: 22,000 barrels per day – 2.2 trains per week

Longview, WA

Project Name: Riverside terminal
Developer: Waterside, Inc.
Operating capacity: 30,000 barrels per day – 3 trains per week

Grays Harbor, WA

Project Name: Westway terminal
Developer: Westway Terminal Company
Operating capacity: 49,000 barrels per day – 5 trains per week

Project Name: Grays Harbor Rail terminal
Developer: U.S. Development Group
Operating capacity: 45,000 barrels per day – 4.5 trains per week

Anacortes, WA

Project Name: Shell Puget Sound Refinery (add-on to existing facility)
Developer: Shell
Operating capacity: Additional 60,000 barrels per day – 6 trains per week

Project Name: Tesoro Refinery
Developer: Tesoro
Operating capacity: 50,000 barrels per day – 5 trains per week

Ferndale, WA

Project Name: BP Refinery
Developer: British Petroleum
Operating capacity: 70,000 barrels per day – 7 trains per week

Project Name: Philips 66 Refinery
Developer: Philips 66
Operating capacity: 35,000 barrels per day – 3.5 trains per week

Tacoma, WA

Project Name: US Oil & Refining
Developer: US Oil
Operating capacity: 40,000 barrels per day – 4 trains per week

Project Name: Targa Terminals
Developer: Targa
Operating capacity: 40.000 barrels per day – 4 trains per week

Total capacity of all oil by rail projects: Over 800,000 barrels per day, over 74 trains per week.


Stand Up to Oil coalition, of which Friends is a member
Sightline Institute articles about crude oil transport
Sightline Institute’s Report “The Northwest’s Pipeline on Rails
Oil Check – an interactive map of all Northwest opposition to oil trains.
Oil Train Blast Zone – an interactive map from Forest Ethics showing how close you live to an oil train blast or evacuation zone.

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