Keystone XL pipeline loses support from U.S. customer
By Cezary Podkul
NEW YORK Dec 13 (Reuters) - Continental Resources, one of the companies that has committed to ship crude on TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL pipeline, now says the controversial pipeline is no longer needed.
Continental has signed on to ship some 35,000 barrels of its own oil from the Bakken field of North Dakota on the 1,179-mile, $5.4-billion Keystone XL line. But construction of the pipeline has been delayed for years as TransCanada has sought regulatory approvals, and Continental has since turned to railroads to get its crude to oil refineries.
Harold Hamm, chief executive of the independent oil producer, told Reuters that his company and the U.S. oil industry in general are no longer counting on Keystone XL.
Oil companies have been strong advocates of Keystone in order to help alleviate oil supply bottlenecks, but Hamm's remarks raise the question of whether regulatory delays have eroded the industry's enthusiasm for the line, which has faced aggressive resistance from environmentalists.
When asked whether Keystone XL is still needed, Hamm said "not for our Bakken (crude). And is it needed for the industry? I don't think so ... not in the U.S."
"Rail has been a big factor and, you know, proven to be a very effective way" (of getting Continental's crude to market), he said on the sidelines of the Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum in New York on Thursday.
Continental now ships 90 percent of its crude oil by railcar, Hamm said. Rail transport can be more expensive, but it allows shippers more flexibility on where the crude is shipped.
"It may be several years yet, you know, before you find out if it (Keystone XL) is going to be built," Hamm said. "It's no way to run your business." Continued...