TransCanada Corp. said Monday that the National Energy Board (NEB) has approved the transfer at net book value of a portion of TransCanada PipeLines Limited's Canadian Mainline natural gas transmission facilities to TransCanada Keystone Pipeline GP Ltd. The facilities are a key component of the Keystone Pipeline, which will transport crude oil from Alberta to refining centres in the U.S. Midwest.
"This affirmative NEB decision is an important milestone for the Keystone project. The Keystone Pipeline is an innovative and cost competitive solution to link a growing supply of crude oil with a rising North American demand for energy," said Hal Kvisle, chief executive officer. "By converting a small segment of our extensive natural gas system to crude oil transmission service, we will maximize the use of an existing asset and still maintain sufficient capacity on our Canadian Mainline system to serve forecasted customer demand."
The proposed Keystone Pipeline is a 2,965-kilometre (1,842-mile) pipeline with a nominal capacity to transport approximately 435,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta to U.S. Midwest markets at Wood River and Patoka, Illinois.
The NEB has scheduled a public hearing beginning June 4, 2007 regarding the Keystone Pipeline application filed in December 2006 for approval to construct and operate the Canadian facilities, and approval of the tolls and tariff for the pipeline. The Canadian portion of the project involves the conversion of approximately 860 kilometres (530 miles) of existing TransCanada Canadian Mainline pipeline facilities from natural gas to crude oil transmission service and construction of approximately 370 kilometres (230 miles) of new oil pipeline, terminal facilities at Hardisty, Alberta, and pump stations. The U.S. portion of the project includes approximately 1,730 kilometres (1,075 miles) of new pipeline construction. TransCanada continues to proceed with applications for U.S. regulatory approvals at federal and state levels.
Construction of the Keystone Pipeline is expected to begin in early 2008, with commercial operations scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2009.
On January 30, 2007, TransCanada commenced an Open Season to obtain binding commitments in support of an expansion of the Keystone Pipeline to 590,000 barrels per day and the construction of a 468-kilometre (291-mile) extension of the U.S. portion of the pipeline from the Nebraska/Kansas border to the refining and terminal hub near Cushing, Oklahoma. The Open Season closes March 14, 2007, and the expansion is targeted to be in-service in the fourth quarter of 2010.
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.
TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas pipelines and storage facilities, and power generation. For 50 years, TransCanada has transported the majority of Western Canada's natural gas production to key Canadian and U.S. markets. On closing of the acquisition of the ANR Pipeline Company and ANR Storage Company announced Dec. 22, 2006, TransCanada's network of wholly owned pipelines will extend more than 59,000 kilometres (36,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada will also become one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services with approximately 360 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns, or has interests in, approximately 7,700 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States.