UPDATE 1-TransCanada applies Keystone's lessons to Energy East pipeline

Tue Apr 7, 2015 3:16pm EDT
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(Adds comment from TransCanada spokesman)

By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta, April 7 (Reuters) - After six years battling bitter opposition to its Keystone XL pipeline project in the United States, TransCanada Corp has learned where and when to pick its fights, to consult early and often - and to retreat when prudent.

Canada's No. 2 pipeline company scrapped plans last week to build a crude oil export terminal in Quebec because it would endanger beluga whales in the St. Lawrence River.

The proposed Cacouna terminal was part of TransCanada's 1.1 million barrel-per-day Energy East plan for a pipeline to take Alberta oil sands crude to Canada's east coast.

The pipeline project will now be delayed roughly two years as TransCanada rejigs regulatory filings.

Despite the drop in global crude prices, demand for Energy East remains strong with Canadian crude production seen hitting 6.4 million barrels per day by 2030, up from 3.5 million bpd in 2014.

With Cacouna's cancellation, environmentalists claimed a huge victory, but industry players say TransCanada is shrewdly taking a short-term hit in hope of a smoother road ahead.   Continued...