Refiner PBF inks Bakken crude supply deal with Continental
NEW YORK, April 10 (Reuters) - PBF Energy Inc has inked a deal to take Bakken shale crude produced by Continental Resources to its Delaware City refinery, the latest step by East Coast refiners to leverage the benefits of the U.S. oil boom to struggling plants. Volumes of how much Bakken crude PBF would buy from Continental through the deal, which was announced in a press statement released on Wednesday, were not immediately available. PBF Energy in February announced the completion of a second rail unloading facility at the 182,000 barrel per day Delaware plant, allowing the plant to take a total of 70,000 bpd of light, sweet crude from North Dakota's Bakken shale and 40,000 bpd of Canadian heavy oil. "Delaware City's heavy and light crude rail discharge facilities allow us to work directly with producers in Canada and the Mid-continent, like Continental Resources," said PBF's Chief Executive Officer Tom Nimbley in a statement. "(This provides) us with a competitive advantage versus northeast refiners that rely on third parties to deliver North American crude oil." East Coast refiners have traditionally relied on imported crude West Africa and the North Sea, and have faced a competitive disadvantage relative to plants in the Midwest and Gulf Coast. The boom in U.S. and Canadian output has brought down costs for those plants, but a lack of pipeline infrastructure to the East Coast has meant plants there have been forced to rely on higher cost imports. Several East Coast plants have shut over the past two years, while others have sought to bring in Bakken and Canadian crude by rail. Delta Air Lines has also sought to bolster profits at its refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania by taking Bakken crude by rail.