TransCanada Submits Route Changes For Keystone XL Pipeline In Nebraska

TransCanada Corporation  (TSE:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) has submitted route alterations for its Keystone XL pipeline that would pass through Nebraska.

TransCanada Submits Route Changes For Keystone XL Pipeline In Nebraska

TransCanada Corporation  (TSE:TRP) (NYSE:TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline is a 36-inch, crude oil pipeline that would connect Canada’s tar-sands region to the U.S. Gulf coast.

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The company submitted the route changes to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality who will clear them after public hearings. The changes are meant to alleviate concerns about environmental damage to the environmentally fragile area known as the Sand Hills, as also regarding municipal drinking water well-fields and sandy soils.

The revised route of the TransCanada Corporation  (TSE:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) Keystone XL pipeline incorporates two detours at Clarks, Neb., and Western, Neb., to avoid municipal well-fields.

Another detour was placed in Northern Nebraska to avoid the “Sand Hills”, and the sandy erodible soils in that region.

The detours aggregate about 20 miles in route changes.

The company would also have to get the changes approved by the U.S. Department of State, who will have the ultimate call on the project.

“The preferred alternative route in this Supplemental Environmental Report was developed based on extensive feedback from Nebraskans, and reflects our shared desire to minimize the disturbance of land and sensitive resources in the state,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer.

However, an organization called Bold Nebraska opposes the Keystone XL project, and its head, Jane Kleeb, said in a press statement that “The new route still risks our land, water, and property rights. The new route still crosses high water tables, sandy soil — which leads to higher vulnerability of contamination — and still crosses the Ogallala Aquifer, the lifeblood of Nebraska’s economy.”

We had previously reported on the political and other obstacles facing this project on ValueWalk here.

Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch notes the following about the Keystone XL Pipeline:

We expect the full Keystone XL pipeline route to be approved eventually, providing Canadian heavy oil an outlet into the largest refining complex in the world in the US Gulf Coast.

At this point, Canadian heavy would compete for world heavy brought in by ship. Macro issues surrounding continued supply include declining Mexican Maya exports, declining Venezuelan heavy, but increasing Brazilian exports and increasing continental light oil that may displace heavy barrels.