Shell Puget Sound Refinery Anacortes Rail Unloading Facility

The Shell Puget Sound Refinery (PSR) proposes to construct and operate a rail unloading facility at the Shell PSR facility on March Point near Anacortes, Washington in Skagit County. The proposed project (Shell Anacortes Rail Unloading Facility or Shell ARUF) includes building a rail spur from the existing adjacent Anacortes Subdivision onto the Shell PSR property to accommodate unit trains transporting Bakken crude oil from the mid-continent area. Oil spill release scenarios were developed to characterize the range of potential impacts from a number of environmental and oil spill release conditions. 

RPS conducted a probability assessment that was conducted to quantify the probability of a crude-by-rail accident, the frequency of release, and the volume of oil that may enter the environment. Then, the potential consequences of a release of oil into the environment was determined using the OILMAPLand and SIMAP oil spill trajectory, fate, and effects models. The frequency and potential consequences of a release that resulted in a fire or explosion was completed. These results were then used to identify the potential economic consequences of an oil release, fire, or explosion. 

Timeline

  • 2015

    In May 2015, discussions began with Washington State Department of Ecology, Skagit County, and Shell regarding 3rd party EIS. 

  • 2015

    In September and October 2015, RPS developed an approach.

  • 2015

    In December 2015, the approach, scenarios, and deliverables were finalized with the Washington State Department of Ecology and Skagit County.

  • 2015

    In January 2015, modelling work began.

  • 2016

    In April 2016, the technical reports were completed.

  • 2016

    In July 2016, the Probability, Oil Spill, and Fire and Explosion Technical Appendices to the EIS were completed.

  • 2016

    In October 2016, the draft EIS was submitted to the Washington State Department of Ecology and Sakgit County.

  • 2016

    In October 2016, the project put on hold by Proponent.

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2015

In May 2015, discussions began with Washington State Department of Ecology, Skagit County, and Shell regarding 3rd party EIS. 

2015

In September and October 2015, RPS developed an approach.

2015

In December 2015, the approach, scenarios, and deliverables were finalized with the Washington State Department of Ecology and Skagit County.

2015

In January 2015, modelling work began.

2016

In April 2016, the technical reports were completed.

2016

In July 2016, the Probability, Oil Spill, and Fire and Explosion Technical Appendices to the EIS were completed.

2016

In October 2016, the draft EIS was submitted to the Washington State Department of Ecology and Sakgit County.

2016

In October 2016, the project put on hold by Proponent.

Key Details

Project Name

Shell Puget Sound Refinery (PSR) Anacortes Rail Unloading Facility (ARUF) 

Client

Shell

Location

  • Washington, USA

Sectors

  • Rail
  • Water management
  • Oil and gas
  • Power and gas networks
  • Storage

Challenge

Understanding the potential trajectory of crude oil within the environment and its ultimate fate was necessary to identify the potential impacts. Results were also required for use in inform planning and response efforts. Oil spill release scenarios were defined by release location, release volume, and environmental conditions. Under the direction of the co-lead agencies, relatively low probability, high-impact accidents (i.e., large volume releases) were modeled to better understand the maximum potential consequences of a more extreme event. These results provide the upper range of estimates of consequence in the unlikely event that there is a large volume release of oil. 

Puget Rail 1 ((NAM)).jpg

Solution

RPS provided computational oil spill modeling, technical assistance, and served as a co-author on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which assessed the potential risks associated with shipments of crude-by-rail in Washington State.  

Rail (NAM).jpg

Services Provided

Environment:  

  • Contaminated land and remediation – identification of susceptible land following hypothetical releases. 
  • Ecology – identify potential effects to terrestrial and aquatic environments 
  • Environmental Impact Assessment – Environmental Impact Statement 
  • Environmental permitting & compliance – Technical reports and numerical modeling completed to meet Washington State Department of Ecology and Sakgit County requirements 
  • Hydrology / hydrogeology – hydrologic network and river modeling as well as Puget Sound estuarine modeling 
  • Spatial intelligence and GIS – Overlay of oil spill numerical modeling data onto areas of interest (AOI) as well as geospatial depiction of environmental data 
  • Software Development – Enhancements to oil spill modeling from trains (multiple sources – each tank car) 

Water services: 

  • Water and wastewater network modelling and asset management – model hydrologic network and potential routes for hydrocarbon contamination of drinking water intakes and other susceptible resources 
  • Water quality modelling and monitoring – provide oil spill modeling that identifies the extent, timing, and potential magnitude of water quality impacts from hydrocarbon releases 

Design and development:  

  • Utility options and design – rail routing 

Other services:

  • Numerical Modeling – unmitigated releases of hydrocarbons onto land and into water 
  • Environmental Impact Assessment  
  • Probability Assessment 
  • Regulatory Engagement 

Project Statistics

6
unit trains unload per week by Shell PSR ARUF
60,000
to 70,000 bbl of conditioned Bakken crude sarried by a single unit train
650
to 676 bbl per tank car
3
representative locations were assessed
2
release volumes studied
2
seasonal conditions per site were studied
2
biological sensitivities investigated
24
scenarios using 2 models OILMAPland and SIMAP