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TransCanada pushes back XL start to second half of 2015

Keywords: Tags  tube, pipe, pipeline, oil, Keystone XL, TransCanada

NEW YORK — TransCanada Corp. has again pushed back its targeted start-up date for its controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and now expects the project to be in service by the second half of 2015.

The company, which attributed the later-than-expected commissioning to "ongoing delays in the issuance of a presidential permit," also said the project likely will cost more than the previously estimated $5.3 billion, "depending on the timing of the permit." The company said it had invested $1.8 billion in the project by the end of the first quarter.

TransCanada previously said that the proposed pipeline, which would transport oil from Calgary to Texas’ Gulf Coast, would begin delivering crude oil as early as 2013 (, March 14, 2010), but a series of environmental delays and rerouting requests have extended the timeline significantly.

The project took a major step forward March 1, when the U.S. State Department released its draft supplemental environmental impact statement on the project (, March 4). A public comment period on the statement ended April 22, and the State Department is expected to issue a final supplemental environmental impact statement before consulting with other governmental agencies for 90 days, TransCanada said. After that, it is expected to make a decision on the company’s presidential permit application.

The Keystone XL pipeline is just one of a number of projects at TransCanada.

"Over the next three years, subject to required approvals, we expect to complete (Canadian) $12 billion ($11.8 billion) of projects that are currently in advanced stages of development," the company said. "They include the Gulf Coast project, Keystone XL, the Keystone Hardisty terminal, the initial phase of the Grand Rapids pipeline, the Tamazunchale pipeline extension, the acquisition of nine Ontario Solar projects and the ongoing expansion of the NGTL system."

TransCanada posted first-quarter net income of C$446 million ($438.6 million), up 26.7 percent from C$352 million in the same period last year, on revenue that increased 15.8 percent to more than C$2.25 billion ($2.21 billion) from nearly C$1.95 billion.

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