CALGARY, Alberta, April 29 (UPI) -- The Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada will displace other forms of crude oil but it may happen later than expected, TransCanada's top executive said.
Pipeline planner TransCanada is awaiting U.S. approval for its cross-border Keystone XL pipeline that would help move Canadian crude oil to southern U.S. refineries.
TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said Keystone XL would help ensure North American energy independence.
"The plan is to displace other oils -- primarily those feedstocks from Venezuela, Mexico, the Middle East and other offshore locations," he was quoted by Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail as saying. "Our strategy is to go directly to connect growing continental supply to these refineries, displacing offshore imports."
TransCanada has invested at least $1.8 billion in the project. Canadian officials, such as Alberta Premier Alison Redford and Energy Minister Joe Oliver, have visited the United States to press for the pipeline.
Girling said the cost of the project is set to increase but it's not clear by how much. He added the in-service date for Keystone XL was likely late 2015, a delay of about a year.
Keystone XL is touted by supporters as a source of economic stimulus and energy security. Opponents point to the environmental risks associated with so-called oil sands, the type of crude oil designated for the pipeline.