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Route change not an issue, says Keystone CEO

Don Horne   


TransCanada Corp does not see a route change for the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline to Nebraska as a major issue, and the company is confident a key regulatory approval will stand, said Chief Executive Russ Girling on Thursday.

Analyzing the November approval by Nebraska Public Service Commission was an important factor in TransCanada’s deliberations on a final investment decision on whether to build the $8 billion pipeline from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb., Girling told a CIBC investor conference in Whistler, B.C.

According to Reuters, the company now believes the ruling, which opponents are appealing, is legally “solid,” said Girling.

TransCanada has still not made a final investment decision.


The Nebraska commission approved the pipeline, but not TransCanada’s preferred path. The new, approved route will add $100 million to $200 million in cost, said Girling.

“We’re committed to moving this project forward but… we’ve got a lot of bruises of not being really careful,” he said. “So we’ll just be really careful with how we spend our money through the next 12 months.”

The pipeline would increase the flow of landlocked heavy crude oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries.

TransCanada is focused on acquiring additional right of way for the route change, a process that should last until the third or fourth quarter, in time to start construction next year, said Girling.

Last week, TransCanada said it had lined up enough long-term commitments from shippers for the pipeline.

TransCanada shares fell 2 per cent in Toronto to C$58.02, compared with a 0.9 per cent drop for the exchange’s energy index.



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