CALGARY — TransCanada Corp. has decided to go ahead with its Energy East pipeline project to transport crude oil to Canadian refineries and export terminals as far east as New Brunswick.
The proposed pipeline system will take crude from western provinces as far east as Saint John, N.B., passing through other Canadian cities including Montreal and Quebec City.
It will include some existing TransCanada pipelines between western Canada and Montreal plus new lines to be constructed to take the crude further east.
TransCanada estimates the project will cost about $12 billion, excluding the value of its converted Canadian Mainline pipeline system.
The project has been backed by provincial premiers but faces opposition from environmental and other groups.
"This is an historic opportunity to connect the oil resources of western Canada to the consumers of eastern Canada, creating jobs, tax revenue and energy security for all Canadians for decades to come," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and CEO.
He said it's one answer to the question of how to move crude oil from Western Canada to refineries and consumers in other markets.
However, Girling also made a pitch for the politically sensitive Keystone XL project — a delayed TransCanada pipeline that would stretch from Alberta to Texas, if it gets the required approvals.
The Harper government has argued that Keystone XL is good for both the United States and Canada but President Barack Obama has yet to give his go-ahead to that line, which has faced intense lobbying both for and against.
"Energy East is one solution for transporting crude oil but the industry also requires additional pipelines such as Keystone XL to transport growing supplies of Canadian and U.S. crude oil to existing North American markets," Girling said. "Both pipelines are required to meet the need for safe and reliable pipeline infrastructure and are underpinned with binding, long-term agreements."