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Nov 22, 2017

Pipeline proponents need ‘stamina of an ox’ to endure approval process: TransCanada director

Former Ambassador to U.S.: NAFTA not getting as much traction south of the border

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TransCanada Independent Director Derek Burney is urging patience among those itching for a final investment decision on Keystone XL.

In an interview on BNN, Burney said the pipeline building process isn’t for anyone without biblical levels of patience.

“If you’re in the pipeline business today in North America, you’ve got to have the patience of Job and the stamina of an ox to try to see any process through to approval,” he said. “So I think the company is being appropriately cautious, assessing what the additional costs are going to be and what the additional time factor is going to be because of this alternate route that has been presented.”

“That’s all they can do. They can’t make a snap judgment without analyzing what the implications of a different route are going to be.”

The approved route, known as the Mainline Alternative Route, hews closer to the existing Keystone pipeline through much of Nebraska. The new route will require an additional five miles of pipeline, and one extra pumping station.

It’s the third option put forward by TransCanada, after its initial straight shot from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska was shot down by the Obama Administration and the preferred route in this approval process proved less-than-palatable to Nebraska’s Public Service Commission.

TransCanada is expected to deliver a final investment decision on the 1,900-kilometre pipeline in December, and while the company didn’t get exactly what it wanted from Nebraskan officials, Burney stressed that the green light on the alternate route was far better than the alternative.

“I think it’s only prudent that the company is doing what it’s doing, but let me tell you: it’s certainly better than a ‘no.’”