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TransCanada to Restart Keystone Pipeline on Tuesday

Oil

The 590K b/d Keystone oil pipeline, Canada’s main crude export route linking Alberta’s oil fields to US refineries, will restart on Tuesday, Reuters reports. The pipeline was shut down 12 days ago, following a 5K barrel leak in South Dakota, which caused a sharp drop in Canada’s crude benchmark Western Canadian Select price as a glut of crude appeared in Alberta and inventories dropped in the trading hub of Cushing.

The pipeline will initially operate at reduced pressure and gradually boost output, while TransCanada has not yet clarified what the reduced pressure would be or when full capacity would be reached.

Meanwhile, Nebraska’s approval last week, of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline which will serve as an extension of the existing system, has cleared the last major regulatory hurdle of the project according to Reuters. However, Nebraska’s approval was not for TransCanada’s preferred route, but for a reportedly more costly alternative which involved 5 miles of additional pipeline as well as a new pumping station and transmission lines. The company has since asked the state to reconsider, and suggests that discussions with shippers for its Keystone XL pipeline have been encouraging and that it will soon have sufficient commercial support to gain approval for its initial proposal and not the costlier alternative.