The writing has been on the wall for months, but TC Energy Corp. made it official on June 9 by confirming that the Keystone XL Pipeline project has been terminated. The company announced the decision after a comprehensive review of its options and in consultation with its partner, the Government of Alberta.
Construction activities to advance the project were suspended following the revocation of its Presidential Permit on Jan. 20. The company will continue to coordinate with regulators, stakeholders and Indigenous groups to meet its environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe termination of and exit from the project.
“We value the strong relationships we’ve built through the development of this project and the experience we’ve gained,” said TC Energy president and CEO François Poirier in a company statement. “We remain grateful to the many organizations that supported the project and would have shared in its benefits, including our partners, the Government of Alberta and Natural Law Energy, our customers, pipeline building trade unions, local communities, Indigenous groups, elected officials, landowners, the Government of Canada, contractors and suppliers, industry associations and our employees.
“Through the process, we developed meaningful Indigenous equity opportunities and a first-of-its-kind, industry leading plan to operate the pipeline with net-zero emissions throughout its lifecycle,” Poirier added. “We will continue to identify opportunities to apply this level of ingenuity across our business going forward, including our current evaluation of the potential to power existing U.S. assets with renewable energy.”
The Keystone Pipeline was first proposed in 2005. Construction of the first phase of the project began in the second quarter of 2008 and went into service in 2010, transporting crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Illinois and Texas, as well as to Cushing, Oklahoma.
The Keystone XL was a proposed 1,210-mile expansion of the system that would have been capable of delivering 830,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would have connected with TC Energy’s existing facilities to reach U.S. Gulf Coast refiners to meet critical needs for transportation fuel and useful manufactured products. The pipeline project was expected to invest $8 billion USD into the North American economy.
The massive project was first proposed in June 2008, with the first permit application submitted in September 2008. Over the next 13 years, the project faced a number of challenges and delays, undergoing extensive environmental studies to ensure its safety while becoming a focal point for anti-fossil fuel environmental activists.
On Jan. 17, TC Energy announced plans to make Keystone XL the first pipeline to be fully powered by renewable energy as the company committed a achieving net zero emissions across the project’s operations. However, three days later, U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the Presidential Permit granted by former President Donald Trump.
Despite Keystone XL being canceled, TC Energy announced that it continues to progress $20 billion of secured growth projects, $7 billion of projects under development and numerous additional initiatives aligned with its risk preferences and return criteria across its business lines and geographies.