Friday, 4 May 2012

New XL Keystone Pipeline Application Filed

Calgary based Trans Canada Corp has filed a new application for the XL Keystone pipeline with the U.S. State Department.  The pipeline would carry crude oil from Hardesty, Alberta to Cushing Oklahoma.  The new application includes the new 33km route around the environmentally sensitive Nebraska sandhills.

Earlier this year the initial application was put on hold beyond he U.S. election in 2012.  The Obama decision appeared to have been fueled by months of protests, including Hollywood celebrities, by environmentalists.  The project, which had undergone two environmental assessments, was widely believed to have been delayed for political reasons.

Meanwhile, House Republicans had attempted get approval of the pipeline by including in other legislation, when President Obama rejected the application. 

A pipeline crossing the international border between Canada and the U.S. requires a presidential permit, however TransCanada earlier planned to go ahead with the southern portion from Cushing, OK to Port Arthur, TX, which did not require presidential approval.

The State Department released a statement on Friday, stating that it would consider the pipeline on its merits. 

"We will consider this new application on its merits," the State Department said.  "Consistent with the Executive Order, this involves consideration of many factors, including energy security, health, environmental, cultural, economic, and foreign policy concerns."

The pipeline will not only transport oil from the Alberta oilsands, but will also deliver oil from the Bakken Basen, which has oil from Mantioba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota.  The $7.6 Billion pipeline is a job creator, with high paying union jobs, provides energy security, with the volatility in the Middle East.

Trans Canada CEO,  Russ Girling, said in a statement on Friday that the pipeline would boost the U.S. economy, once completed. 

"The multi-billion dollar Keystone XL pipeline project will reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil and support job growth by putting thousands of Americans to work, Keystone XL will transport U.S. crude oil from the very large Bakken supply basin in Montana and North Dakota, along with Canadian oil, to U.S. refineries," Girling said.

Trans Canada Corp hopes to start constructing the pipeline in early 2013, with the pipeline delivering oil by 2014 or 2015.

With the political atmosphere in the United States prior to the election, it is not expected that approval will be granted prior to the November election.  It is sure to be a hot button issue during the election campaign. 

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