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January 9, 2013 8:30 AM, EST
BNSF Projects Its Crude Oil Shipments to Climb 40% on Shale Boom

Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad will boost crude-oil shipments by 40% this year, helping to offset declines in other cargo, Bloomberg News reported.

BNSF, Forth Worth, Texas, will spend “a couple hundred million dollars” on capital improvements to haul more petroleum to refineries from the Bakken shale formation in the northwestern United States, CEO Matt Rose told Bloomberg.

Crude shipments will grow to 700,000 barrels daily by the end of this year, Rose said. BNSF is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Crude oil from the Bakken, which is putting the United States on course to become the world’s biggest oil producer by 2020, is helping the second-biggest U.S. railroad buck an industrywide slump in commodity cargoes, Bloomberg said.

BNSF’s raw material volumes were little changed in 2012 as competitors posted declines, based on Association of American Railroads data, Bloomberg reported.