Skip to content

Southern leg of Keystone XL begins to transport oil to Gulf Coast

This past weekend, TransCanada Corp. began to fill the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline – known as the Gulf Coast line – with oil from Oklahoma destined for Houston, Texas and the Gulf Coast.

The Globe and Mail reports, “Starting in the new year (on January 3 to be precise), the (pipeline) will deliver 700,000 barrels per day of crude from Cushing (Oklahoma) to (Port Arthur in) Texas… If approved, Keystone XL would deliver some 800,000 barrels per day of crude from Canada to the Gulf Coast, in addition to as much as 300,000 barrels per day of oil from North Dakota’s Bakken field.”

The Huffington Post notes, “TransCanada can operate the pipeline independently of the northern leg.”

“U.S. oil production has been booming, thanks to new methods of oil extraction in North Dakota and Texas, and that makes the U.S.’s approval of the main leg of Keystone XL less likely, according to a memo prepared for Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. and obtained by the Globe and Mail. Paul Connors, the Canadian government’s top energy expert in Washington, said in a memo to Ambassador Gary Doer that the U.S.’s oil boom reduces the pressure on the Obama administration to approve Keystone XL, especially in light of the fact that the light oil produced in North Dakota and Texas is less carbon-intensive than oil sands product.”

“U.S. President Barack Obama endorsed the construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL plan, though TransCanada did not need the same type of presidential permit that is required for the long-delayed, cross-border portion of the KXL line further north. However, the U.S. State department is still considering whether it will approve the project, which is staunchly opposed by American environmental groups who argue it will spur additional greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands.”

The Financial Post recently reported, “TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline is in line for a decision by U.S. President Barack Obama in the spring of 2014…”

The Council of Canadians had expressed its opposition to the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. In October 2012, vice-chairperson Leo Broderick witnessed its construction near Winnsboro, Texas where activists had occupied the woods in an attempt to stop the building of the pipeline.