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Harold Hamm: Keystone XL no longer needed

Jay F. Marks Modified: August 27, 2013 at 12:05 am •  Published: August 26, 2013

For going on five years, oil and natural gas industry officials have stressed the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline designed to carry crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries along the Gulf Coast.

Oklahoma’s pre-emiment oilman, Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm, joined the chorus after developer TransCanada agreed to add an on-ramp to transport oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana.

But apparently Hamm has changed his mind on the project.

“It’s not critical any longer,” Hamm told National Journal Daily‘s Amy Harder. “They just waited too long. The industry is very innovative, and it finds other ways of doing it and other routes.”

Hamm said he does not expect the Obama administration to approve Keystone XL, but there are other options for oil producers.

Enbridge Inc., another Canadian company, is expanding its oil transportation system in North Dakota with new pipelines and rail routes.

A TransCanada spokesman said Keystone XL remains a vital project.

“While rail has been increasingly utilized to connect Bakken producers to markets, the current infrastructure does not allow Bakken crude oil to get to the right market, and certainly not as competitive a price as pipelines offer,” spokesman Shawn Howard said in an e-mailed statement to National Journal Daily.