HOUSTON Nov 29 A group of people protesting construction of TransCanada's Keystone Pipeline gathered outside Valero Energy Corp's Houston refinery on Thursday, but the company said plant operations were not affected.
Houston Police Department spokeswoman Jodi Silva said no arrests had been made and authorities were monitoring the protest.
The group, Tar Sands Blockade, has been protesting construction of the $7 billion pipeline, designed to transport Canadian crude oil from Alberta to Port Arthur, Texas. Work has begun on the southern leg of the project from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Texas refineries.
The group opposes Canadian heavy crude production and has protested the Keystone construction because the pipeline would give U.S. refiners access to that oil.
Valero has been a vocal supporter of the pipeline, as many Gulf Coast refineries, including some of Valero's plants, are configured to process heavy crude like that produced in Canada.