TransCanada begins Keystone oil deliveries to Cushing

Christopher E. Smith
OGJ Pipeline Editor

HOUSTON, Feb. 9 -- TransCanada Corp. has begun commercial deliveries of crude oil to Cushing, Okla., on the second phase of its $12 billion Keystone Pipeline system. The second phase is a 298-mile extension from Steele City, Neb., to Cushing and increases Keystone's nominal capacity to 591,000 b/d, of which 530,000 b/d is contracted.

The next phase of expansion for the Keystone Pipeline system is the proposed US Gulf Coast Expansion (Keystone XL) project. Keystone XL is a 1,661-mile, 36-in. OD oil pipeline beginning at Hardisty, Alta., and extending southeast through Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Oklahoma to delivery terminals near Port Arthur, Tex.

Keystone XL needs approval by the US Department of State before construction can begin (OGJ Online, Jan. 27, 2011). TransCanada expects Keystone XL to enter service in first-quarter 2013, pending approval.

TransCanada concluded on open season in January for its Bakken Marketlink and Cushing Marketlink projects to deliver US-sourced crude from Baker, Mont., to Cushing and the US Gulf Coast. Bakken Marketlink secured 65,000 b/d of firm, term contracts.

Cushing Marketlink will have capacity to move 150,000 b/d from Cushing to the US Gulf Coast. Both Bakken Marketlink and Cushing Marketlink will use pipeline facilities forming part of TransCanada’s Keystone XL system. Combined the two projects will transport up to 250,000 b/d of US crude oil production to the Gulf Coast (OGJ Online, Jan. 27, 2011).

Contact Christopher E. Smith at chriss@ogjonline.com.

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