CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Canadian pipeline company TransCanada said it was accepting orders to ship oil through pipeline projects that could link to its planned Keystone XL project.
TransCanada announced its open season for its Marketlink project, tying a storage hub at Cushing, Okla., to the proposed Keystone XL. Another bidding open season was launched for interested parties to transport crude from Alberta, Canada, to Texas through its so-called Houston Lateral.
Russ Girling, president and chief executive officer of TransCanada, said in a statement that getting better access to U.S. markets would alleviate capacity constraints.
TransCanada wants to build Keystone XL to supplement its existing pipeline carrying tar sands oil from Alberta. The current network terminates in Oklahoma and Illinois and the extension would end along the Gulf of Mexico.
The U.S. State Department needs to approve the project because the pipeline crosses the Canadian border.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during an early August news conference with Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird that Washington would make a decision on the project before the end of this year.
Keystone XL would send roughly 15 million barrels of oil to the United States every month. Critics of the project point to the number of spills on the existing Keystone oil pipeline and the potential environmental impact of heavy crude oil from tar sands projects in Alberta.