Monday, March 8, 2010

TransCanada reverses course, says it will consider XL onramp in U.S.

BILLINGS, Mont. - TransCanada executives said on March 3 they will consider letting Montana and North Dakota crude oil access a proposed pipeline to the Gulf of Mexico after hearing demands for access from U.S. oil producers.
Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. plans to start construction this year on the $12 billion, 1,980-mile Keystone XL pipeline to transport crude extracted from Canada's oil sands to refineries in the U.S.
The company initially rebuffed calls to build an onramp for crude from the Bakken oil fields of Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan, saying there was insufficient demand. But under political pressure to reconsider, TransCanada Vice President Robert Jones said Keystone XL was "open for business" with conventional crude producers in the United States.
Jones made that pledge after meeting with several dozen oil company representatives assembled in Billings by Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven.
TransCanada said it will continue to meet with producers to work out the particulars of a potential entry point to the pipeline, Jones said.
Initial cost estimates range from $80 million to $200 million for a project that would ship crude out of Montana and North Dakota in 100,000-barrel batches.

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