TransCanada urges US to suspend review of $8bn Keystone pipeline project

TransCanada has urged the US State Department to put on hold its review of the presidential permit application for the $8bn Keystone XL pipeline project.

TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling said: "We are asking State to pause its review of Keystone XL based on the fact that we have applied to the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval of its preferred route in the state.

"I note that when the status of the Nebraska pipeline route was challenged last year, the State Department found it appropriate to suspend its review until that dispute was resolved. We feel under the current circumstances a similar suspension would be appropriate."

President Barack Obama rejected the company's application in 2012 amid protests from various environmentalists about the pipeline's impact on Nebraska's environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region.

Following this, the company changed the original proposed route of Keystone to reduce disturbance of land, water resources and special areas.

The new route requires approval by the PSC, which would take seven to 12 months to complete.

Meanwhile, the firm urged the State Department to suspend its permit application. This move comes as the State Department is in the final stages of review and its permit is likely to be rejected this week, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Keystone XL pipeline, which if built would carry 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada and North Dakota to Gulf Coast refineries.

The project was touted to create more than 40,000 jobs and lead to millions of dollars as tax revenues along the pipeline's route.

Keystone was commissioned in 2010 and the pipeline passes from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Alberta to refineries that are located in Illinois and Texas.

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