U.S. gives upbeat note on oil sands

Feb. 3, 2011 at 8:03 AM

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A U.S. independent energy research firm said oil sands from Alberta, Canada, could cut dependency on foreign oil reserves considerably.

Canadian pipeline company TransCanada Corp. plans to build a 1,100-mile oil sands pipeline from Alberta to refineries in Texas.

Critics complain the process used to extract oil sands could cause major environmental problems though advocates said the resource would be a boost for U.S. energy security.

A report by EnSys Energy commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy found that deliveries through the Keystone pipeline could "essentially" cut U.S. dependency on foreign oil reserves within 20 years.

TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said the report confirms the benefits of the pipeline, the Edmonton Journal reports.

"This study supports what we have been saying for some time -- that Keystone XL will improve U.S. energy security and reduce dependence on foreign oil from the Middle East and Venezuela," he was quoted as saying.

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