Printed on: April 01, 2013

Oil company with megaloads to start production

Associated Press

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - The Canadian company whose desire to move gigantic oil equipment loads across Idaho and Montana caused about three years of legal wrangling in both states is close to producing oil.

Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil officials say the processing equipment has been assembled at the Kearl Lake Oil Sands project in northern Alberta.

Imperial spokesman Pius Rolheiser told the Missoulian Friday that production was likely just days away.

Imperial Oil initially proposed hauling more than 200 oversized loads from the Port of Lewiston in Idaho on two-lane routes of U.S. Highway 12 over Lolo Pass and Highway 200 in Montana.

But after legal challenges, the company reduced the size of the loads and shipped them via interstate.

Officials say the facility will have a capacity of 110,000 barrels of oil a day.