TransCanada Corp. on Friday announced the National Energy Board (NEB) has approved an application by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline GP Ltd. (Keystone) to construct and operate the Canadian portion of the Keystone Pipeline project, including converting a portion of the Canadian Mainline to crude oil service from natural gas service. The NEB also approved the toll methodology and tariff for the Keystone Pipeline.
"This approval is another major milestone for the Keystone Pipeline project. We've made significant financial commitments with suppliers, which will allow the project to proceed with construction in early 2008 and meet an in-service date of fourth quarter 2009," said Hal Kvisle, TransCanada president and chief executive officer.
The 3,456-kilometer (2,148-mile) Keystone Pipeline will transport crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta to U.S. Midwest markets at Wood River and Patoka, Illinois and to Cushing, Oklahoma. The Canadian portion of the project involves the conversion of approximately 864 kilometers (537 miles) of existing Canadian Mainline pipeline facilities from natural gas to crude oil transmission service and construction of approximately 373 kilometers (232 miles) of pipeline, pump stations and terminal facilities at Hardisty, Alberta. The U.S. portion of the project includes construction of approximately 2,219 kilometers (1,379 miles) of pipeline and pump stations.
The NEB approval relates to the initial design of the project to deliver 435,000 barrels per day to Patoka and Wood River. Subsequent to initial design, Keystone held a successful Open Season to expand the project to 590,000 barrels per day and extend its reach to Cushing. The Cushing delivery point is expected to be in service in late 2010. Keystone expects to file an application with the NEB in the fourth quarter of 2007 for approval to construct the expanded facilities. Applications for U.S. regulatory approvals at federal and state levels are proceeding.
To view a map of the proposed pipeline route and obtain other information about the Keystone Pipeline, please visit the project web page at www.transcanada.com/keystone.