Canada's energy pipeline prospects shoot up with Trump win

Wed Nov 9, 2016 2:24pm EST
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By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Republican Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election cheered investors in Canadian energy producers eager to revive the stalled drive to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, giving oil sands crude better access to U.S. markets.

President Barack Obama denied a permit to TransCanada Corp's (TRP.TO: Quote) proposed cross-border Keystone XL pipeline last year. In May, Trump said that if elected, he would "100 percent" approve Keystone XL, which would carry 830,000 barrels per day from Alberta to Nebraska, but would seek a better deal.

TransCanada shares rose 2.2 percent to C$59.49 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday while the Canadian energy index .SPTTEN climbed 2 percent led by Suncor Energy (SU.TO: Quote) which gained 2.5 percent.

"I suspect there are a few people in the offices over at TransCanada who are dusting off some files," said Dirk Lever, an analyst with AltaCorp Capital in Calgary.

Obama's decision last year to deny the permit was a victory for environmentalists who campaigned against the project. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the pipeline "would significantly undermine" efforts to fight climate change.

In a statement on Wednesday, TransCanada said it remained fully committed to building Keystone XL.

"We are evaluating ways to engage the new administration on the benefits, the jobs and the tax revenues this project brings to the table," spokesman Mark Cooper said.

Analysts in Canada's energy capital Calgary said it was unclear how quickly the pipeline could go ahead if approved, or at what point in the regulatory process TransCanada's application could pick up again.   Continued...

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota November 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Andrew Cullen