Nov 17 (Reuters) – TC Energy said on Tuesday indigenous group Natural Law Energy will make an equity investment of up to C$1 billion ($763.77 million) in its controversial Keystone XL pipeline project.
The Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from the Canadian energy-producing province of Alberta to Nebraska, has been delayed for more than a decade due to opposition from landowners, environmental groups and tribes.
The first phase of the transaction with NLE, created as a coalition of First Nations in Saskatchewan and Alberta, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, and is contingent on NLE securing financing.
The agreement also contemplates NLE pursuing an interest in future oil projects.
TC Energy’s existing crude pipelines infrastructure connects Alberta oil supplies to U.S. refining markets, as well as U.S. crude oil supplies from the key market hub at Cushing, Oklahoma to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It also provides intra-Alberta crude transportation.
TC Energy expects Keystone XL to enter service in 2023. Construction is underway in Canada, and the pipeline operator was working on a revised 2020 U.S. work plan focusing on areas that have all permits and approvals.
U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has said he will scrap permits for Keystone XL oil pipeline.
TC Energy said it would also apply similar ownership model to additional indigenous communities along the Keystone XL corridor, both in Canada and the Unites States. ($1 = 1.3093 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)