A U.S. decision on whether to approve TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline has the potential to accelerate -- or slow --investments in Canada’s oil sands.

A decision on the 875-mile (1,408 kilometer) U.S. portion of the pipeline, designed to carry 830,000 barrels of crude a day to Gulf Coast refineries, is expected later this year. Stopping the pipeline would mean continued discounted prices for Canadian crude, making it harder for producers to sell their commodity at a profit and potentially slowing oil-sands development.

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