"TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline Schedule Extended Again"

TransCanada Corp, the backer of the Keystone XL pipeline project, on Tuesday again pushed back its already delayed schedule for building the pipeline. That may signal that the company believes current GOP gymnastics in Congress, trying to force the pipeline to be built, will have little effect -- but that conditions will be more favorable after the 2012 election.

"CALGARY, Alberta -- TransCanada Corp, the backer of the Keystone XL pipeline project, said on Tuesday it still intends to build the controversial $7 billion line even as it again pushed back its already delayed schedule.

The company, which reported a 39 percent rise in net income on Tuesday, and boosted its dividend by 4.8 percent, said it expects to have the 830,000 barrel Alberta-to-Texas line up and running by early 2015 after last estimating it could be operating by late 2014.

The Obama administration has twice withheld approval for the Keystone XL line, once in November when it delayed a decision until after the 2012 presidential election and again last month, when Republican legislators tried to force the president to make a final decision on the line. Barack Obama rejected that bid because environmental studies were incomplete.

But TransCanada maintains that Obama's denial was not based on the merits of the project and it plans to re-apply for the crucial Presidential Permit that will let it begin construction, though it did not say when it would take that step.

It also did not say if it was still mulling first completing the leg of the pipeline that would run from the bloated oil storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma, to Texas refineries on the Gulf of Mexico."

Scott Haggett reports for Reuters February 14, 2012.

Source: Reuters, 02/15/2012