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Keystone XL pipeline project cancelled by TC Energy

Last Updated Jun 9, 2021 at 5:32 pm EDT

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta

TC Energy Corp. says it is walking away from the Keystone XL pipeline project and ending a decade-plus battle that pitted the energy industry against environmentalists as oilsands producers sought to export Canadian crude.

Construction on the pipeline was suspended earlier this year after newly elected U.S. President Joe Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to cancel its presidential permit in January.

TC Energy last month took a $2.2-billion writedown on the cancelled project, which pushed the company to a loss in its most recent quarterly earnings.

The Alberta government in March 2020 agreed to take a $1.5 billion equity stake in Keystone and provide a $6 billion loan guarantee to ensure work started immediately.

The government said Wednesday its final costs are expected to be $1.3 billion.

“We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project, including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline’s border crossing,” Alberta premier Jason Kenney said in a release.

“Having said this, Alberta will continue to play an important role in a reliable, affordable North American energy system. We will work with our U.S. partners to ensure that we are able to meet U.S. energy demands through the responsible development and transportation of our resources.”

Some 200 kilometres of pipeline have already been laid, including across the Canada-U.S. border. The Keystone XL project was first approved by the National Energy Board in 2007.

Calgary-based TC Energy said it would work with government agencies “to ensure a safe termination of and exit from” the partially built line, which was to transport crude from the oil sand fields of western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.

Files from 660 NEWS were used in this report