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The Keystone XL Pipeline Project is a proposed 1,179-mile (1,897 km), 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline, beginning in Hardisty, Alta., and extending south to Steele City, Neb. This pipeline is a critical infrastructure project for the energy security of the United States and for strengthening the American economy.
Along with transporting crude oil from Canada, the Keystone XL Pipeline will also support the significant growth of crude oil production in the United States from producers in the Bakken region of Montana and North Dakota.
This pipeline will allow Canadian and American oil producers more access to the large refining markets found in the American Midwest and along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
In May, 2012, TransCanada filed a new application for a Presidential Permit with the U.S. Department of State, a requirement for building any cross-border pipeline. TransCanada also chose to proceed with the southern portion of its Keystone expansion as a separate project, the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project.
In January, 2013, Governor Dave Heineman approved TransCanada’s proposed route in Nebraska. The revised route will minimize disturbance of land, water resources and special areas in the state.
On March 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of State released a Draft Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SEIS) on Keystone XL that reaffirmed “there would be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed Project route.”
The Keystone XL Pipeline has a projected in-service date of approximately two years after the issuance of a Presidential Permit.
The pipeline will have capacity to transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day to Gulf Coast and Midwest refineries, reducing American dependence on oil from Venezuela and the Middle East by up to 40 per cent.
The 48-mile Houston Lateral Project is an additional project under development to transport oil to refineries in the Houston, Texas, marketplace. Both the Houston Lateral and the Gulf Coast Pipeline projects will become an integrated component of the Keystone Pipeline System. The facilities will double the U.S. Gulf Coast refining market capacity directly accessible from the Keystone Pipeline System to over four million barrels per day by providing access to the key refining market in the Houston area. Associated facilities include the necessary receipt, delivery, pipeline, pumping, monitoring, control and ancillary facilities required to increase capacity.
The final route of the Houston Lateral, which involves building a pipeline through the counties of Liberty, Chambers and Harris to Houston’s refining centre, has been selected to minimize impacts to the land, environment and landowners.
Route selection involved balancing different factors such as length; sensitive environmental features (rivers, wetlands, endangered and protected species), construction issues, paralleling existing infrastructure such as roads and other pipelines and considering stakeholder concerns.
Current plans are for construction activities to begin in the fourth quarter of 2013 and commercial operation of the Houston Lateral to commence in 2015.
Shipper Application and Accounting
Visit the Keystone Shipper Information page on TransCanada.com