TransCanada said it has received enough customer support to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and will continue to press forward.
The Canadian pipeline company, however, said it hasn’t definitively decided to build the much-delayed and disputed pipeline project. The company has time because heavy construction isn’t slated to begin until 2019.
“Over the past 12 months, the Keystone XL project has achieved several milestones that move us significantly closer to constructing this critical energy infrastructure for North America,” said TransCanada CEO Russ Girling, crediting President Donald Trump for helping revitalize the project that was rejected under the Obama administration.
Over the past several years, the $5.2 billion project became a focal point of the anti-crude environmental movement to oppose the pipeline that would carry up to 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Canada’s tar sands through the already completed southern leg of the Keystone system that terminates near Houston and Beaumont.
TransCanada is headquartered in Calgary, but employs close to 1,000 people in Houston.
TransCanada said Thursday it has secured commitments to carry about 500,000 barrels a day on 20-year deals. That’s enough to justify moving forward, the company said, although it’s continuing to work on contracting the remaining capacity.
The Keystone XL portion would be built through Nebraska and connect to Keystone’s already functioning southern leg that ties into Texas oil refineries.
In November, the Nebraska Public Service Commission to approve the Keystone XL route through the state. However, lawsuits and other legal hurdles remain.
TransCanada said it is reaching out in the communities where the pipeline will be built and working with landowners to obtain the necessary easements for the approved route.
This first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more click here.