Calgary-based TC Energy Corp. on Wednesday was granted a Presidential Permit by President Trump to increase oil exports by about 6% on the 10-year-old but stalled Keystone XL pipeline system, which is designed to move Canadian crude to Gulf Coast markets.
The approval follows a 2019 open season that would add 50,000 b/d to the 600,000 b/d now flowing on the system, which runs 2,687 miles from Alberta to the Texas coast.
President Trump granted the permit, which is required for cross-border facilities, during a campaign event in West Texas, where he delivered an energy speech in Midland to an oil and gas crowd in the heart of the Permian Basin.
The permit amends Keystone’s original 2008 cross-border permit. TC “may make changes to the average daily throughput capacity of the border facilities to any volume of products that is achievable,” the permit noted.
The Keystone plan for a parallel 830,000 b/d Canadian oil export line remains mired in legal and political disputes, with its water crossing permit suspended by the courts. Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden has vowed to stop the project.
Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage applauded the permit to increase cross-border traffic on the smaller, established Keystone network to build energy trade and economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“While the construction of new pipelines — including Keystone XL, the Trans Mountain expansion project and Enbridge Line 3 — is the only truly effective long-term solution, any and all initiatives that increase the volume of crude we transport internationally will aid our recovery,” Savage said.
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