TORONTO — The chief executive of TransCanada Corp. said Friday the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline will be in service months later than expected and cost more as it continues to await U.S. government approval.
TransCanada had been sticking to its late 2014 or early 2015 startup target, but the regulatory process has dragged on. It now is looking at a mid- to late-2015 startup.
CEO Russ Girling noted on a conference call with analysts detailing first-quarter results that the controversial pipeline is in its 67th month of the approval process.
“Unfortunately, continued delays … have an impact on both our schedule and our costs. Based on our current assessment of timing of the permit, we would currently anticipate the pipeline could become operational in the second half of 2015,” Girling said.
The company, based in Calgary, Alberta, said the $5.3 billion cost estimate will increase depending on the timing of the permit.
The Obama administration is considering whether to approve the pipeline, which would carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta across six U.S. states, including Oklahoma, to the Texas Gulf Coast. A decision is expected this summer.
TransCanada's Keystone pipeline has been transporting crude oil to the storage hub at Cushing since February 2011.
Even though TransCanada has not gotten a presidential permit for the transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline, it is nearing completion of its Gulf Coast Project. That 485-mile pipeline would transport oil from Cushing to Houston-area refineries.
Officials expect the pipeline to be operational by the end of the year, despite protests led by environmental groups in Oklahoma and Texas.