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article imageTransCanada pushes forward with Keystone XL pipeline

By Karen Graham     Jan 18, 2018 in Business
Canadian pipeline company, TransCanada announced on Thursday that it had obtained 20-year commitments to ship 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day through the controversial pipeline, "positioning the proposed project to proceed."
“Interest in the project remains strong and TransCanada will look to continue to secure additional long-term contracted volumes,” the company said in a press release.
The Alberta government's crown corporation, the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission, has also stepped up, and will pledge 50,000 barrels of oil per day for 20 years, said Cheryl Oates, communications director for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
"The government's commitment is expected to result in this pipeline being built," Ms. Oates said in an e-mail to the Globe and Mail.
The Alberta government said its commitment to the project will bolster industry confidence and add stability to the project, along with helping the economy, despite rival Enbridge Inc. calling the TransCanada deal a "subsidy."
On November 20, 2017, the Nebraska Public Service Commission gave its approval for the pipeline route through the state, even though the route receiving approval was not the one TransCanada wanted. This led to questions about what the approval meant, and prompted a legal challenge from a group of landowners opposed to the project.
The legal challenge is now in the hands of the Nebraska Court of Appeals and a decision is not expected until later in the year, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
In the press release, TransCanada said it is continuing outreach in the communities where the pipeline will be constructed and is working collaboratively with landowners in an open and transparent way to obtain the necessary easements for the approved route.
Construction preparation has commenced and will increase as the permitting process advances throughout 2018, with primary construction expected to begin in 2019, reports CTV News Canada.
More about TransCanada, keystone xl pipeline, Enbridge Inc, Legal challenges, 20 year committment