U.S. Court Ruling Could Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Construction up to 1 Year

(Reuters) — TC Energy Corp could face up to a one-year delay building the Keystone XL oil pipeline after a U.S. legal setback and is looking at options to keep work progressing, a company executive said on Friday. 

Keystone XL, which would carry 830,000 barrels per day of crude from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest, has been delayed for more than a decade by opposition from landowners, environmental groups and tribes.

A U.S. court on April 15 ruled against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' use of a permit that allows new energy pipelines to cross water bodies, in the latest setback to Keystone XL. The ruling does not affect current work on a span of the $8 billion pipeline across the Canada-U.S. border, but it raises questions about securing water-crossing permits for the rest of the route. 

"The long-term potential delay with any of these very omnibus filings or motions to vacate a permit that broad could have up to a year delay on the ultimate project," Bevin Wirzba, senior vice president of Liquids Pipelines, said on a quarterly call with analysts.

Calgary, Alberta-based TC is considering options to continue construction even if it runs into obstacles in some areas and is currently building work camps and moving pipe into position as planned, Wirzba said.

The company continues to plan for 2023 completion.

TC said in March it would proceed on Keystone XL with financial backing from the oil-producing province of Alberta.

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