Updates on Keystone XL Pipeline more frequent as project progresses - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Updates on Keystone XL Pipeline more frequent as project progresses

By Donna McCollum

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Wednesday's Rotary luncheon isn't the first noon business luncheon for Keystone XL and it won't be the last.   "From the Alberta province, near Hardisty, Alberta down to the Gulf coast, all the way down to Illinois," said Jim Prescott before a power point presentation. Some of the pictures are becoming familiar with viewers as the talk has been given several times for Nacogdoches business circles. Each time there's new information as the project gets closer East Texas.

"In some cases we have talked to landowners about the easement requirements that we'll need," shared Prescott, a contract external relations person for TransCanada, the company overseeing the project with ConocoPhillips.  "We're still relatively early in that process."

East Texans are familiar with such negotiations. This is energy country, whether it be for drilling or pipelines. The knowledge for what's needed can work in favor of TransCanada or it can lead to a hard bargain.  "For every difficult process we get we have other landowners who call us and say, 'Cut me a check'," smiled Prescott. No matter the deal cut, TransCanada claims its fair with the environment and the property owner.  "It's as if we're buying the property and we give it right back to the landowner so they can use it however they used it before," explained Prescott.  

Fifty foot wide permanent easements are needed. Sixty foot wide temporary easements are needed during construction. A massive project serving Port Arthur, Houston and Oklahoma markets. Pipeline projects require reams of permitting, beginning with Presidential approval. Later this summer supplement permitting applications will be submitted. It's anticipated construction can begin in the second quarter of 2010.

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