TransCanada to Work with Department of State on New Keystone XL Route Options

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 14 Nov 2011 09:53
Tags: canada oil pipeline transcanada usa

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TransCanada Corporation (TSX, NYSE: TRP) (TransCanada) has spoken with the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and will have conversations with the DOS in the coming days to discuss next steps. The company has been informed further analysis of route options for the Keystone XL Pipeline need to be investigated, with a specific focus on the Sandhills in Nebraska. The Department of State said in its news release the review could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2013.

"We remain confident Keystone XL will ultimately be approved," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer. "This project is too important to the U.S. economy, the Canadian economy and the national interest of the United States for it not to proceed."

But Girling acknowledges while Keystone XL remains the best option for American and Canadian producers to get their oil to the U.S. Gulf Coast, today's announcement by the DOS could have potential negative ramifications, especially where shippers and U.S. refiners are concerned.

"Supplies of heavy crude from Venezuela and Mexico to U.S. refineries will soon end," said Girling. "If Keystone XL is continually delayed, these refiners may have to look for other ways of getting the oil they need. Oil sands producers face the same dilemma - how to get their crude oil to the Gulf Coast."

Girling points out TransCanada has worked with the State Department for the past three years to ensure Keystone XL would be the safest pipeline ever built.

Since 2008, more than 100 open houses and public meetings in six States took place, thousands of pages of supplemental information and responses to questions were submitted to state and federal agencies and the DOS received over 300,000 comments on the project. A draft, supplemental draft and Final Environmental Impact Statement were all issued for Keystone XL - totaling over 10,000 pages. This was by far the most exhaustive and detailed review ever conducted of a crude oil pipeline in the United States.

Fourteen different routes for Keystone XL were studied, eight that impacted Nebraska. They included one potential alternative route in Nebraska that would have avoided the entire Sandhills region and Ogallala aquifer and six alternatives that would have reduced pipeline mileage crossing the Sandhills or the aquifer. TransCanada hopes this work will serve as a starting point for the additional review and help expedite the review process.

The U.S. consumes 15 million barrels of oil each day and imports 10 to 11 million. Forecasts predict oil consumption will continue at these levels for the next two to three decades so a secure supply of crude oil is needed for Americans to continue to heat their homes, cook their food and drive their cars.

Keystone XL is shovel-ready. TransCanada is poised to put 20,000 Americans to work to construct the pipeline - pipe fitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators, the list goes on. Local businesses along the pipeline route will benefit from the 118,000 spin-off jobs Keystone XL will create through increased business for local restaurants, hotels and suppliers.

Five billion dollars in property taxes paid by TransCanada over the lifetime of the project will allow counties in States along the pipeline route to invest in new schools, roads and hospitals.

"If Keystone XL dies, Americans will still wake up the next morning and continue to import 10 million barrels of oil from repressive nations, without the benefit of thousands of jobs and long term energy security," concluded Girling. "That would be a tragedy."

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