WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate could vote as early as Thursday on a plan to fast-track the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, a bid that is unlikely to attract enough Democratic support to pass but will give its Republican supporters an opening to criticize President Barack Obama's energy policies.
Exxon Mobil on Sunday continued cleanup of a pipeline spill that loosed thousands of barrels of heavy Canadian crude in Arkansas as opponents of oil sands development latched on to the incident to attack plans to build the Keystone XL line.
Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline, which can carry more than 90,000 barrels per day of crude from Pakota, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, was shut after the leak was discovered late Friday afternoon in a subdivision near the town of Mayflower. The leak forced the evacuation of 22 homes.
An oil spill that polluted an Arkansas town is drawing new scrutiny to the risks of transporting fuel across a national labyrinth of pipelines as U.S. President Barack Obama weighs whether to approve Keystone XL.
West Texas Intermediate oil’s discount to London’s Brent widened from the narrowest in almost nine months after Exxon Mobil Corp. shut a pipeline carrying crude from Illinois to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Exxon shut its 96,000 barrel-a-day Pegasus pipeline system on March 29 after a leak spilled heavy Canadian crude near the town of Mayflower, Arkansas.
A bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday would give Congress the power to approve TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline project to link Canada’s oil sands with refineries and ports in Texas.
The measure, unveiled by John Hoeven, a North Dakota Republican, and Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, would take approval of the more than 800,000-barrels-per-day pipeline out of the hands of the Obama administration.
CALGARY — A senior TransCanada Corp. executive says the resistance to the approval of the proposed Keystone XL oilsands pipeline has made the company more cautious about future cross-border endeavours.
Alex Pourbaix, president of energy and oil pipelines at the Calgary-based pipeline and utility company, said the long delays getting Keystone approved in the U.S. has been an education.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada is pressing the U.S. on every diplomatic level to approve TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline.
“We are doing that at every level of the government and in coordination with the province of Alberta and others,” Harper said at an even in Calgary. “We really do have a Team Canada approach to this.”