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US delays Keystone XL decision

Published by Steve Coleman on November 11, 2011

Canadian producers are promising to look at other markets, especially Asia, now that the US State Department has delayed a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.

A final decision on the project planned to carry 700,000 barrels of oil a day to the Texas refineries from the Alberta oil sands has been put off until after the 2012 Presidential election.

In the meantime, US government officials want a further look taken at rerouting the pipeline around environmentally-sensitive areas in Nebraska. Oil companies say all of the studies have already been done.

Canadian companies currently rely on the US market to sell 97 per cent of the crude oil collected in Alberta. The decision has prompted some companies, including TransCanada, to start looking at the Asian market for sales.

Another pipeline is also in the works between Alberta and the British Columbia coast. The Northern Gateway pipeline would carry crude from Alberta to Kitimat, B.C., where it would be put on oil tankers for delivery to China.

Countries other than the United States will also be getting more attention from Canadian oil companies now that the Keystone XL project has been put on hold.

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