​Keystone XL wins green light from U.S. to plow ahead on project

Image: TC Energy Corporation

TC Energy Corporation’s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline took another step forward with U.S. approval of a key stretch of construction.

The Interior Department authorized construction across a swath of federal land in Montana, according to a release on Wednesday.

While approval by the oil-friendly Trump administration was expected, the move is a sign of growing momentum for a project that ground to a halt under federal opposition in 2015.

Progress on Keystone XL, which will boost shipments of crude from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, is a welcome sign for a Canadian energy industry that has been hamstrung by a too little pipeline capacity. The pipeline pinch has weighed on local crude prices and stunted explorers’ expansion plans.

But the $8 billion pipeline isn’t in the clear just yet. It’s still the subject of a legal challenge in Montana, and additional federal permits are still necessary.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.