By Kevin Orland
TC Energy Corp. said a federal judge’s decision to block a key permit for the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline last month could delay the project for as much as a year.The Canadian pipeline giant thinks it can overcome the issues presented by the ruling and has been trying to mitigate any potential delays by working on other portions of the project in parallel, Bevin Wirzba, senior vice-president for liquids pipelines, said on the company’s first-quarter earnings call. The company expects that it will be able to complete a “significant” amount of work on the project in the U.S. this year, executives said on the call.The long-delayed pipeline, which has been a top target of environmental and climate change activists, was dealt a potential setback last month when a federal judge in Montana ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers improperly approved a streamlined permit process without fully evaluating the impact on endangered species. Just weeks before the judge’s ruling, the project had gotten a boost in the form of a $5.3 billion aid package from Alberta’s government.
Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of crude a day along a 1,200-mile (1,900-kilometer) route, helping connect Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. The project is scheduled to come into service in 2023.
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