Keystone XL Pipeline Inches Forward as Order Blocking Work Is Lifted

Keystone XL
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

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TC Energy Corp.’s $8 billion Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is inching forward after a court injunction that stopped work on the project was been lifted.

An order issued by a Montana judge barring certain pre-construction activities was dissolved July 29, according to the Canadian company. That followed a June ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that a new presidential permit negated challenges to the project’s earlier approval, TC Energy said Aug. 1 in its second-quarter earnings statement.

The victory is only a partial win for TC Energy and the Keystone XL project, which would ship more crude from Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. TC Energy said in May it was already too late to start major construction activity this year. The project also still faces a legal challenge in Nebraska, and a decision on that matter is due this quarter, TC said Aug. 1.

The 1,200-mile conduit is seen as a key project for the Canadian oil industry, which has been hampered by a lack of pipeline space. It’s also become a target of environmentalists, who argue that it would enable increased development of Alberta’s oil sands, thus raising global greenhouse gas emissions.