TransCanada considers JV and asset sales to fund Keystone XL project

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Canadian pipeline operator TransCanada is reportedly looking to pursue joint ventures (JVs) and divestments to secure funds for the construction of its $8bn Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

The company is assessing all financing options for the 830,000bbl/d oil pipeline project as part of its plans to begin pipeline construction next year, Reuters reported. A final investment decision on Keystone XL is pending.

The 36in-diameter, 1,180-mile pipeline will transport crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska.

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TransCanada chief executive Russ Girling said: “We do have a sizeable portfolio of saleable assets, contracted, that we would be willing to part with to fund part of the Keystone XL programme. We would entertain JV partners on this project.”

However, there is no clarity on how much interest the company would be ready to open up for potential JV partners.

The project has witnessed opposition from environmentalists and tribal groups as they fear potential oil spill and the resultant water pollution.

TransCanada now expects the Nebraska Supreme Court to give its verdict on routing by the first quarter of next year. Oral hearings on the matter started last week.

Meanwhile, a Montana court ruling and a final environmental assessment report on routing changes are expected next month. Other pending permits are anticipated to be obtained by early next year.

Despite the protests, the project has been supported by the US Government and headed by President Donald Trump.

The company noted that it received interest from potential partners for its 670km Coastal Gaslink pipeline, which will carry natural gas from the Dawson Creek area to the proposed LNG Canada facility near Kitimat, British Columbia.

Girling said: “In terms of where we would ultimately end up in terms of equity ownership, I’d give you a range of us retaining somewhere between 25% and 49% ownership, post bringing in JV partners.”

Last month, the National Energy Board (NEB) agreed to hear a petition challenging the jurisdiction of the Coastal Gaslink project. The board will decide on whether the project should be considered a federal project.

However, TransCanada is confident that construction on the gas pipeline will begin next year.

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