Oil Price Information Service
April 26, 2013
By: Edgar Ang

TransCanada said on Friday that it is now expecting the Keystone XL pipeline to be in service in the second half of 2015 due to ongoing delays in the issuance of a Presidential Permit for the controversial pipeline project.

This is slightly later than the previous projected start-up date of end 2014/early 2015 for Keystone XL pipeline.

Based on its pipeline construction experience, TransCanada said that the $5.3 billion cost estimate will increase depending on the timing of the permit. As of March 31, 2013, TransCanada had invested $1.8 billion in the project.

In January 2013, the Governor of Nebraska approved our proposed re-route after the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality issued its final evaluationreport noting that construction and operation of Keystone XL is expected to have minimal environmental impacts in Nebraska.

On March 1, 2013, the DOS released its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The impact statement reaffirmed that construction of the proposed pipeline from the U.S./Canada border in Montana to Steele City, Nebraska would not result in any significant impact to the environment.

The DOS is in the process of reviewing comments on the impact statement that it received during a 45 day public comment period that ended on April 22, 2013.

Once the DOS has completed its review, it is anticipated that it will issue a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and then consult with other governmental agencies during a National Interest Determination period of up to 90 days, before making a decision on our Presidential Permit application.

Apart from Keystone XL, TransCanada also said that construction on the $2.3 billion Cushing-Port Arthur crude pipeline project, excluding the Houston Lateral, is now 70% complete, and it is on track for first flow at the end of 2013.

This Gulf Coast Project includes a 36-inch pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the U.S. Gulf Coast and will deliver crude oil to Port Arthur, Texas.

The Gulf Coast Project will have an initial capacity of up to 700,000 b/d.

TransCanada said that its construction of the 76 kilometer (47 mile) Houston Lateral to transport crude oil to Houston refineries is expected to begin in mid-2013 and be complete by mid-2014 at a total cost of approximately $300million.

TransCanada also said that it has launched an open season for the Energy East Pipeline Project to obtain firm commitments to transport crude oil from western receipt points to eastern Canadian markets. The open season began on April 15, 2013 and closes on June 17, 2013.

The Energy East Pipeline Project involves converting natural gas pipeline capacity in approximately 3,000 km (1,864 miles) of our existing Canadian Mainline to crude oil service and constructing up to approximately 870 miles of new pipeline.

Subject to the results of the open season, the project will have the capacity to transport as much as 850,000 b/d, increasing access to eastern Canadian markets.

TransCanada has begun Aboriginal and stakeholder engagement and field work as part of our initial design and planning. If the open season is successful, we will apply for regulatory approval to build and operate the facilities, with a potential in service date of late 2017.

For the Northern Courier Pipeline, the Fort Hills Energy Limited Partnership has not indicated that their recent decision to cancel the Voyageur upgrader project has changed their current plans for Northern Courier.

TransCanada has nearly completed the field work and Aboriginal and stakeholder engagement necessary to allow us to file the permit application with the Energy Resources Conservation Board and expect to file the application in second quarter 2013.

-Edgar Ang, eang@opisnet.com
Originally published by Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), Gaithersburg, MD. Additional reproduction is strictly prohibited. For more information on other news, contact Scott Berhang, +1 301.287.2332.