TransCanada: Keystone XL progressing; opponents: not needed

Aug. 2, 2018, 4:59 a.m. ·

The original Keystone pipeline, under construction in Nebraska in 2009 (Photo by Grant Gerlock, NET News)

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Pipeline company TransCanada says it’s still confident about building the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. But pipeline opponents say the line’s not needed.

On TransCanada’s quarterly telephone conference call with investors Thursday, company officials said the project continues to move forward. The Nebraska Supreme Court’s expected to hear a case this fall challenging the state Public Service Commission’s approval of an alternate route for the pipeline.

Meanwhile, TransCanada executive Paul Miller said the company is lining up enough business to fill the pipeline, which is capable of moving 830,000 barrels per day from the oil sands of Alberta to U.S. refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.

“When we bring Keystone XL into service we will move probably about 200,000 barrels per day of contracts over from the existing pipeline onto to XL, so when you combine the new contracts with those we will transfer over, with the amount of spot capacity we are required to set aside for walk-up shippers, we will effectively be fully contracted on Keystone XL,” Miller said.

Jane Kleeb, president of the anti-pipeline Bold Alliance, said TransCanada’s trying to disguise reality. “That is worse than fuzzy math. That is definitely an interesting shell game that TransCanada is now playing with trying to combat the real issue at hand, which is that Keystone XL is no longer needed,” Kleeb said.

TransCanada’s Miller acknowledged moving 200,000 barrels per day to Keystone XL would create that much extra capacity on the company’s existing Keystone pipeline. But he said discussions are underway to try and replace that business.

TransCanada CEO Russ Girling predicted the Nebraska Supreme Court could rule on the pending lawsuit by the end of this year or early next year.