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Exclusive Map: The Tar Sands Pipeline Boom

The Keystone XL is just one of many pipelines in the works to export Canadian heavy oils to global markets.

By Catherine Mann and Stacy Feldman, InsideClimate News

Apr 30, 2012
TransCanada Keystone pipeline depot, Gascoyne, North Dakota, February 2012/Credi

As debate over the future of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline continues to boil in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail, energy companies are proceeding with many other pipeline projects that would give large amounts of Canadian crude access to foreign markets within the next five years.

InsideClimate News compiled a map and list showing industry's planned expansion. We discovered that there are more than 10,000 miles of pipelines planned to send an additional 3.1 million barrels a day of Alberta's oil to export markets, at a cost to build of almost $40 billion.

**To view and download the full map, click on image below or click here for PDF version.**

A breakdown of recently completed and proposed projects:

Keystone Phase I

Company building it: TransCanada

Project date: Online June 2010

Origin and destination: Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Neb., and on to Wood River, Ill. and Patoka, Ill.

Length: 2,147 miles

Capacity: Initial capacity is 435,000 barrels per day, with the capability of increasing to 591,000 barrels per day

Cost: Approximately $4.6 billion

Project status: Operational since June 2010


Keystone Cushing Extension (Keystone Phase II)

Company building it: TransCanada

Project date: Online February 2011

Origin and destination: Steele City, Neb. to the Midwest oil hub in Cushing, Okla.

Length: 298 miles

Capacity: Keystone Phase I plus the Keystone Cushing Extension can deliver up to 591,000 barrels per day

Cost: Approximately $1.6 billion

Project Status: Operational since February 2011


Keystone XL Pipeline Project

Company building it: TransCanada

Project date: Originally proposed in 2008. TransCanada is expected to file a new presidential permit application with the U.S. State Department in May 2012. A federal review is required because it crosses an international border.

Origin and destination: Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Neb.

Length: 1,179 miles

Capacity: Capacity of 830,000 barrels per day

Cost: Approximately $5 billion

Project status: TransCanada expects a start date of sometime in 2015.


The Gulf Coast Pipeline Project

Company building it: TransCanada

Project date: Originally proposed as the southern portion of the Keystone XL system in 2008. In February 2012, TransCanada announced that it would proceed with the south leg first to skirt a federal review of the entire project. Because it does not cross an international border, the southern part would not require approval of the State Department.

Origin and destination: Cushing, Okla. and extending south to Nederland, Texas to serve Gulf Coast refineries

Length: 485 miles

Capacity: Initial capacity of 700,000 barrels of oil per day, which could be expanded to 830,000 barrels of oil per day

Cost:  Approximately $2.3 billion

Project status: TransCanada expects construction to begin in mid-2012, with an anticipated start date of mid-to-late 2013.


Houston Lateral Project

Company building it: TransCanada

Project date: Originally proposed as part of the Keystone XL system in 2008.

Origin and destination: Liberty, Texas to Houston, Texas. Final route has not been determined.

Length: 47 miles

Capacity: Capacity of up to 830,000 barrels per day

Cost: Approximately $600 million

Project status: TransCanada plans to begin construction in the first quarter of 2013 and commercial operation in the first quarter of 2014.


The East Coast Pipeline Project

Company building it: TransCanada

Project date: Under consideration. Details first made public in a Globe and Mail article published in March 2012

Origin and destination: Across Canada from Alberta to refineries in Montreal, Quebec City, and potentially to Saint John, New Brunswick, where tanker exports could take the crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast, Europe or Asia

Length: The project would convert roughly 1,864 miles of natural gas pipe into oil pipe, and would build at least 370 miles of new pipe from Hardisty, Alberta, to TransCanada's mainline at Burstall, Saskatchewan, and on to Quebec City.

Total mileage: Approximately 2,234 miles

Capacity: 625,000 barrels per day

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tarsandspipelineboomapril2012InsideClimateNewsPDFVersion.pdf3.06 MB
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