Northern Tier’s refining business primarily consists of an 89,500 barrels per calendar day (96,500 barrels per stream day) refinery located in St. Paul Park, Minnesota.. The refinery’s complexity allows it to process a variety of light, heavy, sweet and sour crudes into higher value refined products.
The St. Paul Park Refinery is one of only two refineries in Minnesota and one of four refineries in the Upper Great Plains area within the PADD II region. The PADD II region covers Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The refinery’s strategic location allows it direct access, primarily via the Minnesota Pipeline, to what the Company believes are abundant supplies of advantageously priced crude oils. Many of these crude oils have historically priced at a discount to NYMEX WTI.
The Company will seek to benefit from access to growing crude oil supplies. As of [June 2013], the Canadian Association of Petrochemical Producers estimated that total Canadian crude oil production is expected to grow to 6.7 million bpd by 2030 from 2012 production of 3.2 million bpd . Crude oil production from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota has also increased significantly, from approximately 98,000 bpd in 2005 to approximately 934,000 bpd as of January 2014, and is expected to continue to grow due to improvements in unconventional resource production techniques. [April 2014].
The refinery’s location allows it to distribute its refined products throughout the Midwestern United States. The refinery produces a broad slate of refined products including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and asphalt, which are then marketed to resellers and consumers primarily in the PADD II region.
Northern Tier also owns various storage and transportation assets, including a light products terminal, a heavy products terminal, storage tanks, rail loading/unloading facilities and a Mississippi river dock. The refining business also includes a 17% interest in the Minnesota Pipe Line Company, which owns and operates the Minnesota Pipeline, a 455,000 bpd crude oil pipeline system that transports crude oil (primarily from Western Canada and North Dakota) for approximately 300 miles from the Enbridge pipeline hub at Clearbrook, Minnesota to the refinery. The Minnesota Pipeline has historically transported the majority of the crude oil used and processed in the refinery.