POLL FINDINGS: Industry expects Obama approval on Keystone XL

With a second four-year term now secure, most in the global hydrocarbon processing industry (HPI) expect the Obama administration to ultimately approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline system.

Out of hundreds of votes cast, 68% believe the US president will give the green light to TransCanada to build the expanded system, which could connect the US Gulf refining base with crude oil feedstock from Canadian oil sands.

The president previously denied TransCanada the Keystone XL permit in January 2012, citing an arbitrary deadline from Republicans. Several political pundits said Obama might have also been apprehensive about going against demands of the wealthy environmental lobby during campaign-financing season.

Obama then asked TransCanada to reapply with an alternate route to avoid the Sand Hills in Nebraska, an important aquifer in the region. The revised route was recently reviewed and largely approved by state environmental regulators, though the US State Department is conducting its own review as well.

The proposed system would result in a 1,700-mile oil pipeline stretching from Canada to Texas, carrying nearly 1 million bpd of oil.

TransCanada says it expects to receive a permit from the US government by the end of the 2013 first quarter. If that happens, the project could be completed and started up by early 2015.

To see more details on this poll as well as access prior Hydrocarbon Processing poll results, click here.

(Editor’s note: Polls are where we at Hydrocarbon Processing gather industry sentiment on significant issues of the day. Visit the HP home page to weigh in on our latest poll regarding safety in Arctic oil and gas projects.)

The Author