TransCanada plans $1.7 billion oil pipeline

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 11 -- TransCanada Corp., Calgary, is planning a $1.7 billion oil pipeline project to transport 400,000 b/d of heavy crude from its oil hub at Hardisty, Alta., to Wood River and Patoka, Ill.

The 1,870-mile Keystone pipeline system would involve construction of 1,000 miles of new 30-in. pipeline in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois in the US; 100 miles of new 30-in. pipeline in Alberta and Manitoba, Canada; conversion of about 770 miles of TransCanada's existing 30-in. and 34-in. Alberta and Mainline natural gas transmission systems in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba; and 15 pumping stations on the US line.

The Keystone system would accommodate anticipated growth in Canadian crude oil production during the next decade, the company said. Much of the oil will originate from oil sands and other projects in northern Alberta. TransCanada has received support for the project from a number of oil producers and refiners, and preliminary discussions have begun with other stakeholders, including communities, government representatives, and landowners along the proposed route.

TransCanada said it would continue to meet with industry groups to gauge additional support for the project with the view of calling for an industry-wide "open season" later this year, after which regulatory applications would be filed in the fall or winter. Anticipated in-service date for the Keystone system is put at 2008-09.

TransCanada's remaining gas pipeline network, which exceeds 25,000 miles of pipelines, will continue to transport most of western Canada's natural gas to eastern Canada and the US through its mainline system, which comprises a corridor of 4-7 pipelines having an annual capacity of 7-7.5 bcf of gas. Those lines currently transport 5 bcf/year.

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