TransCanadas proposed 1,661-mile pipeline has secured support from The American Petroleum Institute (API), which is preparing a grassroots and advertising campaign to back the project against the heat of environmental protests.
The 36-in. pipeline will transport oil produced from Canadian oil sands from Hardisty, Alberta, to a delivery point near Nederland, Texas, to serve refineries at nearby Port Arthur. It is awaiting approval by the US Department of State, which is required for cross-border projects.
A coalition of 20 environmental groups launched an advertising campaign on 30 November implying that allowing Keystone XL to be built could lay the foundation for a disaster comparable to the oil spill from BP PLCs deepwater Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. The groups reportedly are spending $500,000 (378,000) to urge US President Barack Obama to intervene and stop the Keystone XL project.
The API, however, is looking to promote the benefits. Weve been promoting the economic benefits and jobs this resource can bring to the US for some time, and we dont think it has been fully registering with the public, Cindy Schild, APIs refining issues manager, says.
Roughly half of the 1.9 million bpd of oil that Canada supplies to the US comes from oil sands. We will consume more oil, and much of it will continue to be imported, Schild remarks. Every barrel we import from Canada will replace oil from less secure sources. The heavy oil we import from there already is replacing heavy oil we used to import from Mexico and Venezuela, where has been in decline.
A 2009 Canadian Energy Research Institute study estimated that 342,000 US jobs would be created, largely in the Midwest, from the proposed pipelines construction.
Source: Oil&Gas Journal