TransCanada seeking more Keystone XL shippers

CALGARY — TransCanada Corp. said Thursday that it’s looking for more oil shipment commitments for its Keystone system, as expected oilsands growth slows and major international players continue to retreat from the region.

Company spokeswoman Jacquelynn Benson said the company is looking for 225,000 barrels a day of commitments on the controversial Keystone XL project, which would have capacity to ship about 830,000 barrels a day from Hardisty, Alta., to markets in Cushing, Okla., and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

She says TransCanada launched the open season on Keystone XL, which continues to work through the regulatory process in Nebraska, because it believes it has core support for the project.

The chief executives of both Suncor Energy and Cenovus Energy said Thursday that they remain supporters of the proposed pipeline, though Cenovus CEO Brian Ferguson said the company has alternatives for exporting oil if Keystone XL doesn’t go ahead.

TransCanada has been working to reconfirm shipper interest since U.S. President Donald Trump approved the pipeline in March, reviving a project thought dead after former president Barack Obama rejected it in 2015.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ production forecast for Western Canada has, however, changed significantly in recent years after companies cancelled or scaled back on major growth projects, with the association now expecting about 1.5 million fewer barrels a day being produced by 2030 than it had in its 2014 forecast.

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