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Analysts remain skeptical of Keystone XL pipeline going ahead

A long list of permits and approvals await before it can start construction.


CALGARY — US President Donald Trump has given TransCanada Corp. their long awaited presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, but analysts still aren’t counting on it getting built.

The company still faces a long list of permits and approvals before it can start construction, especially in Nebraska where a state commission isn’t expected to rule on the project until the end of the year.

Justin Bouchard at Desjardins Capital Markets said TransCanada can still expect a number of hurdles, including on the regulatory side, but also legal battles and protests from those opposed to the project.

Bouchard said the need for pipelines has also dropped in recent years as the growth of the oil sands has slowed, so not all of the pipelines proposed to export Alberta oil will be needed in the next decade.

Robert Kwan at RBC Capital Markets said news of the permit was neutral for TransCanada since it was so widely anticipated, and that he still isn’t including Keystone XL in his valuation of the company.

Fred Jauss, a partner at international law firm Dorsey & Whitney, said the presidential permit only grants permission to build the pipeline right at the border, and the company will still need to navigate a web of federal, state level and even local planning boards.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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