BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — TransCanada Corp. says it has a growing list of U.S. oil shippers signing up to use a proposed connector to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Calgary-based company announced in 2011 that it secured five-year contracts to move crude from the oilfields of North Dakota and Montana via a proposed five-mile-long pipeline known as the Bakken Marketlink. The $140 million project, designed to carry 100,000 barrels of crude daily from the rich Bakken and Three Forks formations, would meet with the Keystone XL in Baker, Mont.
TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said Monday that the contracts, which are confidential, have since been renegotiated in anticipation of U.S approval of the long-delayed Keystone XL, which would be primarily used to transport crude from Alberta's oil sands to refineries in Oklahoma and Texas. It cleared a big hurdle last week when the State Department raised no major environmental objections to its construction.
"We have not lost customers," Howard said. "In fact, we have a waiting list."
TransCanada initially balked at allowing U.S. oil companies to tap into the Keystone XL but reversed its stance in 2010 after political pressure from officials in Montana and North Dakota, which has seen soaring oil production in the past few years and is now the nation's No. 2 oil producer behind Texas.