Keystone XL report reignites battle over pipeline's impact

|By:, SA News Editor

Improved prospects for the Keystone XL pipeline are cheered by much of the North American energy industry, but the project is no longer as crucial to U.S. or Canadian companies as it seemed just two years ago.

Even without Keystone XL, Canadian crude exports to the U.S. rose more than 5% in 2013, to an average 2.6M bbl/day; pipeline, rail, barge - energy producers are using all available logistics opportunities.

Aside from the obvious boon to companies pumping oil in Canada, Keystone XL matters most to Gulf Coast refiners which have invested billions of dollars to turn heavy crude like the kind coming from Canada into fuels for export.

The Keystone fight is not over, with at least three more hurdles remaining: more government reviews, scrutiny over potential conflicts of interest, and a conflicted Pres. Obama.

In the meantime, get ready for more heated rhetoric and disinformation from both sides (pro-Keystone, anti-Keystone).