After years of legal battles and construction delays, the Canadian corporation TransCanada has begun moving oil into the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. That portion of the pipeline pass throuigh Northeast Texas on its way from central Oklahoma to the Texas Gulf Coast.
A Monday afternoon email statement from company spokesman Shawn Howard said “TransCanada is pleased to confirm that at approximately 10:04 am Central Time on Saturday, December 7, 2013, the company began to inject oil into the Gulf Coast Project pipeline as it moves closer to the start of commercial service.”
TransCanada will need to fill the pipeline before it can begin delivering Canadian tar sands crude to refineries on the Texas coast. TransCanada plans to fill the line with about 3 million barrels of oil in the coming weeks, the company said. The company said it could begin deliveries as early as the end of December.
The line, which cost an estimated $2.3 billion, will be capable of bringing up to 700,000 barrels of oil daily to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, according to the company.
TransCanada continues to await presidential approval for the northern leg of Keystone XL, which would bring tar sands crude from Canada into the United States. The northern leg requires presidential approval since it crosses an international border. The southern leg, which crosses no international border, does not.