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TransCanada extends Keystone XL open season

06 Sep 2017 15:26 (+01:00 GMT)
TransCanada extends Keystone XL open season

Houston, 6 September (Argus) — TransCanada is extending an open season for its long-delayed 830,000 b/d Keystone XL crude pipeline project, citing "the historic flooding and catastrophic impacts" to Houston and parts of the US Gulf coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The open season will be extended by about a month to 26 October. TransCanada is seeking binding commitments for Keystone XL and for its existing 590,000 b/d Keystone pipeline, to move crude from Hardisty, Alberta, to markets in Cushing, Oklahoma, and the US Gulf coast.

TransCanada said on 28 July that it is working on refreshing legacy shipper contracts for Keystone XL.

"Our goal remains to achieve a significant level of long-term 20-year contracts on Keystone in this open season," said liquids pipeline president Paul Miller, while discussing second quarter earnings.

The delay in firming up shipper support for Keystone XL is mostly a matter of "refreshing the legacy contracts and getting the documentation in place," he said. Keystone XL would transport crude from Alberta's oil sands to Steele City, Nebraska.

Miller also said that the results of the open season along with the end of a regulatory process in Nebraska will determine the next steps for the project.

TransCanada first proposed the line in 2008 but it was delayed repeatedly. The administration of previous US president Barack Obama in 2015 blocked Keystone XL after years of review, citing environmental concerns.

But the project was revived this year, receiving a cross-border permit from the administration of President Donald Trump on 24 March.

Opposition against Keystone XL flared most strongly in Nebraska, where the company still did not have a route approved when it pulled its state application after Obama denied the border-crossing permit.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission held formal hearings on the project on 7-10 August. A decision on the state permit is expected later this year.