Oil pipeline considered for Canada's east

March 23, 2012 at 8:07 AM
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CALGARY, Alberta, March 23 (UPI) -- Canadian pipeline company TransCanada may be considering an oil pipeline to Canada's east coast though an analyst questioned the move.

Industry sources told Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail that TransCanada was proposing a $5.6 billion pipeline system to carry oil from western provinces to refineries in Ontario and possibly to eastern ports.

The company is facing regulatory hurdles with its Keystone XL pipeline planned for southern U.S. refineries. Canadian energy company Enbridge, meanwhile, is facing opposition to its Northern Gateway pipeline planned for western ports.

A person described by the Globe and Mail as someone familiar with the plans said "anything that can get you to a different market" is of interest to oil shippers.

The newspaper said TransCanada plans to ship around 625,000 barrels of oil per day to the east in order to access European or Asian markets. The company hasn't disclosed the plans publicly, it said, and it might never develop.

Paul Lechem, an analyst at CIBC World Markets Inc., told the newspaper he's not sure what the pipeline would accomplish.

"Eastern Canada is not the preferred destination (for exports)," he said.

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