By David Gaffen | GUERNSEY, WYOMING A gallon of gasoline that allows a driver on the U.S. East Coast to travel about 25 miles has already navigated thousands of miles from an oil field to one of the world’s largest fuel markets. If its last stop is one of the region’s struggling refineries – an increasingly unlikely prospect – the crude used to produce the gas would have probably arrived by tanker from West Africa. That’s because the region’s five plants have no pipeline access to U.S. shale fields or Canada’s oil sands. Or the journey to an East Coast gas pump might start instead in North Dakota’s Bakken shale fields – which means it could take up to three months, including a stop at a Gulf Coast refinery. The same trip would have been even longer a month ago, before the opening of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. That line was nearly derailed last year by protesters. Its arduous path to approval provides one case study in the oil industry’s struggle to open up a bottleneck holding back resurgent domestic oil production – an outmoded U.S. distribution system. The equally divisive Keystone XL pipeline provides a more poignant example:
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Source: CTRM Center