US: Keystone would not affect rate of oil sands development

Fri Mar 1, 2013 4:10pm EST
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WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Friday that the Keystone XL pipeline would not have much impact on the amount of petroleum developed in Canada's oil sands region, an assessment in line with what supporters of the project have long said.

"Approval or denial of the proposed project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands, or on the amount of heavy crude oil refined in the Gulf Coast area," the Department said in a long-awaited report of more than 2,000 pages.

Supporters of the project have dismissed concerns that the project would lead to additional greenhouse gas emissions, because the oil would reach markets regardless of whether the pipeline is built.

Friday's report is far from the last word on Keystone. The Obama administration's final decision on the pipeline that would link Canada's oil sands to refineries in Texas is not expected until after July or August.