The following information was released by the National Association of Convenience Stores:
In a move that will need federal approval, TransCanada Corp. may consider a shorter path for its recently rejected Keystone XL project, bringing oil from Montana's Bakken Shale to refiners in the Gulf of Mexico, Bloomberg reports.
"There certainly is a potential opportunity to connect the Bakken to the Gulf Coast," Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada's president of energy and oil pipelines, told Bloomberg. "That is obviously something we'll be looking into over the next few weeks."
The $7 billion Keystone XL proposal to bring crude from Canada's oil sands to the Gulf was rejected by President Obama last week, which required U.S. approval because it crossed the border with Canada. Keystone XL would have carried as much as 830,000 barrels per day from Canada's oil sands and the Bakken field along a 1,661-mile (2,673-kilometer) path to Texas refineries, notes Bloomberg.
Montana's Bakken Shale is estimated to hold as much as 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil in North Dakota and Montana, according to a 2008 U.S. Geological Survey report. Oil production in North Dakota surged 42% to 510,000 barrels per day in November 2011, which exceeds the output of Ecuador.
For 2012, production in the Bakken field may reach 750,000 barrels per day, according to Edward Morse, managing director of commodities research for Citigroup Inc.
Changing the scope of the project would allow TransCanada to use existing pipe materials and current rights-of-way. Pourbaix said the company might apply later for federal permission to connect the pipeline to the Canadian oil sands and complete the Keystone XL pipeline as originally envisioned, said. Pourbaix said that TransCanada might seek that approval after it builds the segment from Montana to the Gulf.
"We believe there may be the potential to accelerate the construction of some elements of the pipeline," Pourbaix told Bloomberg.
The pipeline has support in Montana, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas. "There's no bigger advocate for the Keystone pipeline than me," Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer told Bloomberg. "We have plenty of oil in Montana, we need the ability to get it to market."
(Originally published January 23, 2012, by States News Service.)
Copyright 2012 States News Service