Bentek projections see Bakken production doubling over the next two years, to roughly 800,000 Bbls/d in 2013.
Pipeline takeaway capacity in the Bakken will be insufficient until 2013, Bentek believes.
On its face, shipping Bakken crude some 600 miles farther to the East Coast and paying the additional shipping charges makes no economic sense.
Bentek analysts say Cornerstone's rail theory holds water, that where East Coast refineries' crude currently originates is the economic key.
"East Coast refineries now use Brent Crude, which carries a $12 to $13 a barrel difference to WTI," Bentek senior analyst Tony Scott tells GBB.
East Coast refineries can handle Bakken's light sweet crude, Scott adds.
"It makes sense to ship to the East Coast," according to Scott.
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