Keystone pipeline is cleared for construction in Oklahoma
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Tulsa has signed off on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline through 10 counties: eight in Oklahoma and two in Texas.
TransCanada has gotten the green light to begin construction of the southern segment of its Keystone XL pipeline through Oklahoma.
The company received a letter Thursday from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Tulsa indicating construction can begin in eight Oklahoma counties and two in Texas, project spokesman Jim Prescott said.
The Choctaw Nation will be able to monitor construction for previously unidentified or unknown cultural, archeological or human remains, he said.
“TransCanada still requires approval from the Fort Worth District,” Prescott said. “We continue to believe that we will be in a position to begin construction later this summer and are working with the Corps and others to secure the approvals and permits we require.”
The 485-mile pipeline would move up to 700,000 barrels of oil a day from the storage hub at Cushing to refineries along the Gulf Coast.
TransCanada wants to build a 1,179-mile pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, but the Obama administration rejected the company's bid for a presidential permit in January with a deadline set by Congress looming. The company has since renewed its application for the permit after changing the pipeline's route through Nebraska's sensitive Sand Hills region.
Bottleneck in Cushing
TransCanada announced plans to move ahead with the southern leg of the pipeline in March.
The project, which could be done by mid-2013, is expected to eliminate the bottleneck of crude oil in storage at Cushing, a situation that has depressed the price of oil produced in the region.
The Gulf Coast line could be expanded to transport as much as 830,000 barrels of oil a day.
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