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NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - TransCanada Corp. expects to announce potential interest in using its proposed Energy East crude oil pipeline project in the next couple of weeks, Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling said on Thursday.
The pipeline would funnel crude oil from western receipt points to delivery points in the Montréal and Québec City, Quebec, and Saint John, New Brunswick, areas.
The open season, or the process of gauging interest from shippers on the pipeline, closed on June 17 and met with a "positive" response, Girling told reporters in New York.
"I hope within the next couple of weeks we'll be able to announce a successful project. That's where my gut feel is."
The proposed project involves converting a natural gas pipeline in TransCanada's existing Canadian Mainline to transport crude oil, as well as building a new pipeline.
TransCanada is in the process of trying to win approval of its Keystone XL pipeline project. Girling said he expects the U.S. government to get through comments from a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from April by the end of summer.
The company has proposed building an 875-mile pipeline that would deliver up to 830,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Alberta, Canada, and the Bakken shale in the United States, to Steele City, Nebraska, for delivery to Cushing, Oklahoma, and Gulf Coast refineries.
The project has met with harsh opposition from environmental groups concerned about oil spills.