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TransCanada open to joint ventures, asset sales to finance Keystone XL

Don Horne   


Canadian pipeline operator TransCanada Corp said it is eyeing joint ventures and asset sales, among other options, to finance the construction of its $8 billion Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

The Calgary-based company also told Reuters it has had substantial interest from potential partners for its Coastal Gaslink pipeline, which will carry natural gas to the LNG Canada export terminal in British Columbia.

“In terms of where we would ultimately end up in terms of equity ownership, I’d give you a range of us retaining somewhere between 25 per cent and 49 per cent ownership, post bringing in JV partners,” said Chief Executive Russ Girling on a conference call.

TransCanada said it will start construction on the 670 kilometre (420 miles) gas pipeline in 2019, despite a jurisdictional review by the National Energy Board.


The company did not say when it expects to make a final investment decision on Keystone XL, but said it continues to work toward construction on the 830,000 barrel-per-day oil pipeline in 2019 and is looking at all options for financing.

“We do have a sizeable portfolio of saleable assets, contracted, that we would be willing to part with to fund part of the Keystone XL program,” Girling told Reuters. “We would entertain JV partners on this project.”

The company did not say how much stake it would want to retain in Keystone XL, which it is has been developing for more than a decade.

The project has galvanized environmentalists, tribal groups and ranchers in opposition to the $8 billion 1,180 mile (1,900 km) pipeline that would carry heavy crude from Canada’s oil sands to Steele City, Nebraska. From there the crude would be sent to refineries and potentially for export.

TransCanada said it now expects a decision on routing from the Nebraska Supreme Court by the first quarter of 2019, as oral hearings began on Thursday.

It is also anticipating a Montana court ruling in December, along with a final environmental assessment report on routing changes that month, and additional permits issued by early 2019.

U.S. President Donald Trump has backed the project, which was axed by former President Barack Obama in 2015 on environmental concerns emission concerns.

The company, which reported a 52 per cent rise in third-quarter results, said earnings from its liquids pipelines business rose 56 per cent to $316 million.

Net income rose to $928 million, or $1.02 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $612 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.



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