TransCanada to Start Clearing for Keystone XL

MONDAY, MAY 7, 2018

Canadian energy corporation TransCanada is set to begin clearing brush in Montana in the fall to make way for the new Keystone XL pipeline, with construction anticipated as early as next year.

The plan to start pre-construction work was revealed via a letter, obtained by Reuters and dated April 10, sent to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes from the U.S. State Department as government-to-government correspondence to help lessen any adverse effects regarding the project.

Project History

Keystone XL, which would carry crude oil from Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska, was first proposed in 2008 and went through years of environmental reviews and regulatory holdups before the U.S. State Department rejected the pipeline in November 2015. The project was thought to be dead in the water at that point, though procurement of some of the materials had already begun.

President Donald J. Trump invited the company to resubmit its application for federal permission when he took office in January 2017, and the government overturned the previous rejection in March.

In November, Nebraska, the last state on the line's proposed route to still be considering whether or not to permit construction, approved the so-called Mainline Alternative Route for the line. The Mainline Alternative co-locates with established rights-of-way, including the existing Keystone Pipeline, over more miles than the preferred route, which, the commission says, was originally established simply because it was the shortest possible route between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City.

Moving Forward

“As you may be aware, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P.  intends to begin vegetative clearing in preparation for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline [Project] this fall,” the letter said.

The vegetation will be cleared to build the construction camps and pipe yards. Actual construction is slated to begin in 2019. According to Reuters, TransCanada has not as yet made an official investment decision regarding the pipeline, but the company did note that it was: “progressing toward a final investment decision.”

The letter also told Montana tribes that they would be consulted on survey work to be completed in the spring and summer, due to a change in pipeline route in Nebraska.

In April, it was revealed that November’s spill on the Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota was nearly twice as big as originally reported, approximately 9,700 barrels of oil spilled on farmland in Marshall County on Nov. 16, considerably more than the 5,000 barrels the company originally estimated were lost.


Tagged categories: Government; NA; North America; Oil and Gas; Pipelines; Program/Project Management

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