OTTAWA, April 3 (UPI) -- Moving oil from western Canada to eastern markets will contribute to the country's energy security, government officials said.
TransCanada announced Tuesday it was seeking commitments for a planned pipeline that would deliver as much as 825,000 barrels of crude oil per day to eastern Canadian markets.
"In 2012, Canada imported more than 600,000 barrels per day to supply its Eastern refineries," the company said in a statement. "The Energy East Pipeline could eliminate Canada's reliance on higher priced crude oil currently being imported."
Canadian Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield and some members of Parliament welcomed TransCanada's endeavors. He said getting domestic oil to eastern markets has long been on the agenda of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"Moving Canadian energy east, subject to objective, science-based review, would contribute to Canadian energy security," Ashfield said in a statement.
TransCanada describes the project as a 2,700-mile pipeline that would stretch from Alberta and Saskatchewan to eastern refineries.
"It will create a new domestic market for western Canada's oil production and potentially open a new channel for international exports in the future," the company said.
TransCanada is waiting for U.S. government approval to build the 1,179-mile Keystone XL from Alberta to Nebraska.