Oil begins flowing through Keystone XL’s southern leg

HOUSTON — TransCanada has begun moving oil into the Keystone XL pipeline’s southern leg, which runs from Oklahoma to the Texas coast, a company spokesman said Monday.

“TransCanada is pleased to confirm that at approximately 10:04 am Central Time on Saturday, December 7, 2013, the company began to inject oil into the Gulf Coast Project pipeline as it moves closer to the start of commercial service,” TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said in an email.

The pipeline owner will need to fill the newly constructed line before it can begin delivering oil to refineries along the Gulf Coast, including those in Houston. TransCanada plans to fill the new pipeline system with about 3 million barrels of oil in the coming weeks, the company said.

The company has said it expects to begin deliveries by the end of the year.

Although TransCanada is still waiting for approval to construct the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would connect with oil sands fields in Canada, the company has completed the $2.3 billion southern leg.

The line will be capable of bringing up to 700,000 barrels per day of oil to the Gulf Coast, providing more supplies of crude to refineries.

Refineries are eager to see the northern leg of the pipeline completed, since that portion would bring more of the heavy type of oil sands crude that is especially lucrative for them to process. Oil sands crude currently is priced lower than heavy oil imported from overseas.

The northern leg requires presidential approval since it crosses an international border.


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Protests or not, they have a pipeline to build

Photo: Houston Chronicle
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Crewmen work a site where a pipe for TransCanada's Keystone XL project is lowered into the ground in
Photo: Houston Chronicle
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A crewmen directs a pipe for TransCanada's Keystone XL project as it's lowered into the ground in Wo
Photo: Houston Chronicle
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Gabe Cordova looks at TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline that comes through his mother's property in
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Crewmen work a site for TransCanada's Keystone XL project in Wood County, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
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A stake marks where TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline will come through Marshall Treadwell's 800-
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Gabe Cordova feeds the fish in a pond on his mother's property where TransCanada's Keystone XL pipel
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Gabe Cordova, and his daughter, Ayden, and wife, Carla, live on his mother's property in Wood Coun
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Trucks that haul equipment for TransCanada's Keystone XL project drive through downtown Winnsboro Th
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Conrad Wolfman watches from his storefront as a truck that hauls equipment for TransCanada's Keyston
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Chickadee sits in a tree showing his opposition for TransCanada's Keystone XL project in Wood Coun
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Chickadee sits in a tree showing his opposition for TransCanada's Keystone XL project in Wood Coun
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Chickadee sits in a tree showing his opposition for TransCanada's Keystone XL project in Wood Coun
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Chickadee sits in a tree showing his opposition for TransCanada's Keystone XL project in Wood Coun
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Chickadee sits in a tree showing his opposition for TransCanada's Keystone XL project in Wood Coun
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A sign hung by protesters showing their opposition for TransCanada's Keystone XL project is seen i
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