TransCanada has notified customers that it expects to begin shipping their oil in the company's new Gulf Coast pipeline on Jan. 22.
“This is another important milestone for TransCanada, our shippers and the refiners on the U.S. Gulf Coast who have been waiting for this product to arrive,” spokesman Shawn Howard said.
“Providing this notice gives our customers time to ensure that they have the appropriate volumes of oil to move into our system when the pipeline is ready to go into full commercial operation.”
The 485-mile pipeline eventually will carry up to 700,000 barrels of oil a day from the storage hub at Cushing to refineries in the Houston area.
The pipeline is part of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The Obama administration refused to grant a permit for the transcontinental pipeline last year, but TransCanada received clearance for the southern leg.
Construction began in August 2012.
Howard said TransCanada began injecting oil into the $2.3 billion pipeline last week. The process is part of ongoing testing of meter stations, pump stations and other facilities that support the pipeline.
“Our line fill team is very pleased with the progress they have been making to date,” Howard said.
“They are extremely focused on making sure that line fill takes place in a safe, planned and careful manner that will allow for a smooth transition to full commercial operations.”