By REBECCA PENTY
CALGARY (Bloomberg) -- TransCanada pushed
the start date for its $5.4 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline
into 2016, the second delay this year as the company awaits
United States approval for the project.
The pipeline, which would stretch from Albertas oil
sands to the United States Gulf Coast, can begin operating no
sooner than two years after it gets a United States
presidential permit, CEO Russ Girling said in an interview.
With the permit expected early next year, theres no
way we can get it done faster than two years, Girling
The company has previously suggested it may be able to build
the northern leg of the project within two years. TransCanada
split its original Keystone XL project after President Barack Obama
rejected a prior route last year because of fears its path
through Nebraska would threaten ecologically sensitive lands.
TransCanada is currently building the southern leg, which
doesnt require a permit because it doesnt cross the
United States border, and has revised the route for the other
The project has galvanized environmental groups that argue it
will increase greenhouse-gas emissions by encouraging development
of Albertas oil sands, which require more energy than
most conventional crude production. Supporters say the oil
sands will be developed with or without Keystone XL and the
lines construction will create jobs.
The United States State Department is overseeing an environmental review to estimate the
extent Keystone XL would contribute to global warming. A draft
analysis released in March found the project wouldnt have a big
impact on greenhouse-gas emissions because companies can find
other ways to transport the bitumen to market, such as by
Costs for the line will continue to rise as delays push the
start date back, TransCanada CFO Don Marchand said in Toronto.
The pipelines $5.4 billion cost includes extensions to
reach the United States oil storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma,
and to gather supplies from the Bakken formation in Montana and
North Dakota, James Millar, a company spokesman, said in an