TORONTO, April 2 TransCanada Corp said
on Tuesday it has begun to seek commitments from parties
interested in transporting crude oil from Western Canada to
Eastern Canadian markets, as it moves to convert an existing
natural gas pipeline.
Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada said its Energy East
Pipeline will have the capacity to transport as much as 850,000
barrels of crude oil per day, greatly enhancing producer access
to markets in Eastern Canada.
The project could eliminate Canada's reliance on higher
priced crude oil currently imported to supply east coast
refineries. In 2012, Canada imported more than 600,000 barrels
per day to supply its Eastern refineries.
Earlier this year, TransCanada Chief Executive Russ Girling
said TransCanada would soon hold an open season, or a call for
commercial support for the project, and stressed that he expects
a "very favorable response" from oil producers and refiners.
TransCanada said it intends to proceed with the necessary
regulatory applications for approvals to construct and operate
the required facilities after the open season ends. The line
could come into service in late 2017.