TransCanada announced Monday that it will build the Keystone XL pipeline segment connecting the crude oil supply hub in Cushing to the Texas Gulf Coast, as the company reapplies for a federal cross-border permit to move oil from Alberta, Canada, into the United States.
The company said the $2.3 billion segment from Cushing to Texas will be built as the Gulf Coast Project and should be in service by the middle of next year if federal approvals are granted.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that the administration will make sure federal permitting is acted on “very quickly.” Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, called for a Senate committee hearing to be held in Cushing — which is in Payne County — about the next steps.
But an environmental group that has opposed the Keystone XL pipeline vowed to block any segment from being built.
The announcement from TransCanada had been expected, since company officials have been publicly talking about moving forward with the Oklahoma-Texas segment.
“The Gulf Coast Project will transport growing supplies of U.S. crude oil to meet refinery demand in Texas,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer, in a news release.
“Gulf Coast refineries can then access lower cost domestic production and avoid paying a premium to foreign oil producers. This would reduce the United States’ dependence on foreign crude and allow Americans to use more of the crude oil produced in their own country.”
TransCanada’s application for a cross-border permit was denied by President Barack Obama last month after the U.S. State Department determined that the application was incomplete because no route through Nebraska had been determined.
However, the president said at the time of the rejection that the administration would look for ways to develop the Cushing to Gulf of Mexico pipeline.