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Opposition May Make Pipeline Change Course

February 16, 2011

TransCanada has decided that it may be willing to abandon the fourth phase of the Keystone XL pipeline project, which would run 1,900 miles from Alberta to Nebraska. This is coming in the wake of increasing costs and growing opposition to the project. The Global and Mail reported that the multi-billion dollar project may switch its focus from the pipeline running from Alberta to Texas to adding an addition to the already existing Keystone pipeline, that would run from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas.

TransCanada held a conference call Tuesday February 15, and expressed concern with the continued delays of approval from the State Department. The company is also worried about the 12 billion dollar project inflating to 13 billion dollars.

Costs for the overall Keystone project have ballooned to $13-billion (U.S.) from $12-billion, as the result of the higher Canadian dollar, higher-than-anticipated construction costs, and delays in regulatory approval for the final two phases of the four-phase project.

TransCanada can also expect further delays because some members of congress and environmental groups have called for an additional Environmental Impact Statement as the original project changes. Hoping approval will come by the end of the year, TransCanada remains hopeful that the entire project will commence as planned.

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