Keystone project gas-line conversion sought

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 12 -- TransCanada Corp. has filed an application with the National Energy Board (NEB) for conversion of a portion of the company's natural gas pipeline to crude oil transportation.

The conversion is part of the proposed 1,830-mile Keystone Pipeline project, expected to transport 435,000 b/d of heavy crude from Hardisty, Alta., to Wood River and Paktoa, Ill. Capacity would be expandable to 590,000 b/d with additional pump stations (OGJ Online, Aug. 9, 2005).

The application involves the Canadian portion of the $2.1 billion project, which calls for the construction of 230 miles of pipeline and conversion of 530 miles of TransCanada's Canadian Mainline gas pipeline.

The US portion of the project includes 1,070 miles of pipeline construction.

TransCanada earlier said it had secured firm, long-term shipper commitments for transportation of 340,000 b/d of oil for an average of 18 years. It said shippers also have expressed strong interest in a proposed south extension of the Keystone pipeline to Cushing, Okla. A binding open season will be held later this year for the Cushing extension, which would add 291 miles of pipeline in Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma at an estimated cost of $445 million.

Keystone will apply to the NEB for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to build the facilities later this year after completion of environmental assessments.

TransCanada has filed an application with the US Department of State for a Presidential Permit authorizing the construction, operation, and maintenance of cross-border facilities.

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