The pipeline has the capacity to transport 700,000 barrels per day of crude, according to Reuters. Fill operations were underway Dec. 7, TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said in an email. The line, operated by TransCanada subsidiary Marketlink, will require 3 million barrels of oil before its completion date by mid-to-late January. Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge Inc. is also expected to finish its Flanagan South pipeline from Illinois to Cushing to expand the Gulf Coast's transportation infrastructure.
"The line fill on Marketlink is going to be helping a little bit, because it seems like Cushing is going to be short heavy barrels until Flanagan comes on next year," said Chris MacCulloch, an analyst for Desjardins Securities Inc. in Calgary, according to Bloomberg.
TransCanada did not state when the southern leg of its Keystone XL pipeline will open for commercial service.