The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline is a $13 billion project that will connect a secure and growing supply of Canadian crude oil with the largest refining centers in the United States, significantly benefiting the United States energy supply. The existing Keystone Pipeline system went online in June 2010 and brings crude oil non-stop from Canada to market hubs in the Midwest. The proposed Keystone XL Gulf Coast expansion project is an approximately 1,661 miles long, 36-inch crude oil pipeline that begins in Alberta and extends southeast through Saskatchewan, Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. It incorporates the Keystone Pipeline extension before continuing to refining centers in Texas area.
The Keystone XL project will bring significant economic benefits to the U.S. during construction and operations
Pipelines are the safest way to transport crude oil and petroleum products. Each year, hundreds of millions of gallons are safely transported on thousands of miles of pipeline in the U.S. The Keystone XL Gulf Coast Pipeline project will be the newest, strongest and most innovative pipeline in operation in North America, using the most advanced materials and technology. To move the same volume of Keystone XL oil into the U.S. market would take a train that was 25 miles long each and every day.
Keystone XL will be monitored around-the-clock from a state-of-the-art control center. The pipeline will have 16,000 data transmitters that monitor pipeline pressure and operating conditions; transmitting data that will be updated by secure satellite every five seconds. If there is even the slightest change in pressure, pipeline operators can close valves to isolate a suspected incident location within minutes. Before beginning operations, Keystone XL will file an emergency response plan with the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. Similar emergency response plans are in place for the existing pipelines that currently delivers crude oil to Illinois and Oklahoma. Emergency response plans must be approved by regulators. The plans undergo regular testing so that the response is quick and effective in the event an incident does occur. In addition, local personnel would respond and manage clean-up operations and would be responsible for securing an incident site.
In January 2012, the Obama Administration rejected Transcanada’s Presidential Permit application. State of Nebraska announced it will work with Transcanada to identify an alternative route for KXL through the state.
Transcanada announces it will begin building the portion of KXL extending from Cushing Oklahoma to Texas City Texas in February 2012. The Oklahoma to Texas portion of the pipeline project does not require a federal Presidential Permit.
In April, after much cooperation, Transcanada’s proposes to Nebraska alternative KXL routes through their state.
Transcanada submits a new Presidential Permit application for KXL route from Alberta to Kansas in May 2012.
In June, the State Department announces the start of the Supplemental EIS process for the new KXL route in Nebraska, stating that it will also consider new information on environmental concerns having bearing on the entire project.
Nebraska expected to announce its decision on the best alternative route for KXL through the state in the Fall of 2012.
The Obama Administration decision on KXL Presidential Permit application is expected in the Spring of 2013.
The economic impact and long term benefits of the construction of the KXL pipeline are significant.