Oil is now flowing through the southern leg of Keystone XL

The pipeline is almost ready to start making deliveries

Topics: TransCanada, Keystone XL pipeline, , ,

Oil is now flowing through the southern leg of Keystone XLMarchers take part in the Forward on Climate rally on February 17, 2013 in Washington DC, the largest climate rally in U.S. history.(Credit: Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

“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 spokesman Shawn Howard announced Monday.


In the coming weeks the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, which stretches from Oklahoma to Texas, will be injected with about 3 million barrels of oil. Once it’s filled, according to FuelFix, TransCanada will be able to start making deliveries to Gulf Coast refineries — which could happen by the end of this year. By mid-January, up to 700,000 barrels will be flowing through the 485-mile pipeline.

The oil company obviously couldn’t help rubbing its 2.3 billion dollar baby’s success in the face of the protestors and activists who are fighting to keep the Keystone project from going forward. Objections range from the contention that the last thing a warming Earth needs is more fossil fuels to specific concerns about the southern leg of the pipeline’s shoddy construction.

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The most controversial part of the project, though, remains in limbo: TransCanada can’t construct the border-crossing northern leg of the pipeline, which will tap directly into Canada’s oil sands, without U.S. approval. Its ultimate victory, as before, hinges on whether or not President Obama decides to take a stand for clean energy.

Lindsay Abrams
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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