UPDATE 1-Texas judge puts temporary halt on TransCanada pipeline

Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:09pm EST
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* Temporary order halts work on east Texas property

* Latest of several landowner disputes with TransCanada

* Pipeline is southern leg of company's Keystone XL project


By Chris Baltimore

HOUSTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) - A Texas judge has ordered TransCanada Corp to halt work temporarily on a pipeline to carry heavy crude oil from Oklahoma to Texas refineries on the property of a local landowner who has sued the pipeline operator for fraud.

Texas County Court at Law Judge Jack Sinz in Nacogdoches County on Friday signed a temporary restraining order to stop TransCanada from building a pipeline across the property of Michael Bishop in east Texas, about 150 miles (241 km) northeast of Houston. Sinz said there was "sufficient cause" to halt work on Bishop's 20-acre (8 hectare) property until a planned Dec. 19 hearing.

The judge's action is the latest of several landowner disputes that could prove troublesome for TransCanada. In February, another Texas judge temporarily halted pipeline work in northeast Texas due to archaeological concerns.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave a permit in July to the $2.3 billion Gulf Coast Project, which will carry 700,000 barrels of crude per day from the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub to Houston.   Continued...