Customer Commitments Prompt TransCanada to Move Ahead With Keystone XL Pipeline

If the commercial commitments for a Keystone XL pipeline are anything, it’s enough for TransCanada to move ahead with the development of the controversial line.

The Canadian company said Thursday the commitments represent about 60 percent of the capacity for the line that will carry crude oil from Canada through Montana and South Dakota and into Nebraska.

TransCanada wrapped up the open season for commercial commitments to fill the line and they total about 500,000 barrels a day. And the 20-year commitments make up about 60 percent of the total design capacity.

“Interest in the project remains strong and TransCanada will look to continue to secure additional long-term contracted volumes,” the company stated.

The company is prepared to begin construction next year, if the state of Nebraska moves ahead with approval. It is in Nebraska where environmentalists and land owners are putting up a strong fight. However, the Nebraska Public Service Commission voted in November in favor of one route while TransCanada preferred another.

“TransCanada is continuing outreach in the communities where the pipeline will be constructed and is working collaboratively with landowners in an open and transparent way to obtain the necessary easements for the approved route,” stated the company.

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality published a report more than three years ago on the need to avoid the Sandhills area. Rod Johnson, a former Republican state legislator and commissioner for the PSC, said parts of the pipeline as planned would be exposed and therefore vulnerable if TransCanada built the $8 billion pipeline.

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