TransCanada Corporation (NYSE:TRP) (TSX:TRP) launched a binding open season to obtain additional firm commitments from interested parties for the Cushing Marketlink Project to transport crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur and Houston, Texas.
TransCanada held a successful open season in 2010 allowing the project to proceed subject to regulatory approvals and provide transportation of U.S. crude oil production from Cushing to Port Arthur by mid-2013. The company is now seeking additional commitments to deliver crude oil to Port Arthur as well as commitments for new service to Houston. Transportation service to Houston is dependent on the proposed Keystone Pipeline System extension to Houston being built. The Cushing Marketlink Project would deliver crude oil using pipeline facilities that form part of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL System.
"Access to the Houston market is expected to help alleviate current pipeline capacity constraints and provide shippers with desired transportation options from the Cushing market," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer. "With deliveries into Houston, we would double the refining capacity to the U.S. Gulf Coast that is accessible through the Cushing Marketlink project to over four million barrels per day of crude oil."
Following completion of the open season which closes at 12 p.m. (Mountain) on October 17, 2011, TransCanada intends to proceed with the necessary regulatory applications for approvals to construct and operate the required facilities and to provide transportation services. Subject to the receipt of the Keystone XL Presidential Permit, the Cushing Marketlink Project is expected to begin shipping crude oil to Port Arthur in mid-2013 and to Houston in 2014.
Keystone XL is a proposed 1,700 mile pipeline that would expand the existing Keystone system and deliver crude oil to refineries in the U.S. Midwest and the U.S. Gulf Coast. Keystone would increase U.S. energy security by providing Americans with a stable, secure supply of U.S. domestic and Canadian crude oil versus continuing to import unstable, higher priced crude oil from the Middle East and Venezuela. Keystone would create 20,000 American jobs during construction, inject $20 billion into the U.S. economy and pay over $5 billion in property taxes over the lifetime of the project.
TransCanada launches Marketlink crude oil pipeline binding open season