Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TransCanada Sees Strong Customer Support for Energy East Pipeline

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

TransCanada Sees Strong Customer Support for Energy East Pipeline

Article excerpt

TransCanada close to Energy East announcement

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CALGARY - TransCanada Corp. said Friday it likely has enough support to build its Energy East project, which would connect western crude to eastern refineries using an existing pipeline.

The company (TSX:TRP) and its potential customers are putting the finishing touches on their contracts and there should be an announcement within the next two weeks, said Alex Pourbaix, the TransCanada executive in charge of oil pipelines.

"It's really just working through terms and conditions, credit and so forth," he said on a conference call to discuss the company's second-quarter financial results, which met market expectations.

Energy East involves retooling part of TransCanada's underused natural gas mainline, which runs from Alberta to the Quebec-Vermont border, to ship oil. New pipe would be laid to Saint John, N.B., home to Irving Oil's massive refinery.

The pipeline could carry up to 850,000 barrels per day of crude, and potentially come into service by late 2017.

TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said Eastern Canada currently imports 700,000 barrels per day of crude from overseas and that Energy East would provide that market with a stable, less expensive supply.

Last month, TransCanada wrapped up a process known as an open-season, where potential customers places bids for space on the proposed pipeline.

"We continue to feel very positive about this initiative and we have received significant interest from both producers and refiners. We are confident Energy East will garner the binding, long-term contracts needed to move that project forward," Girling said on the conference call.

"It would be the most efficient and the safest and economic way to transport crude oil to eastern Canadian refineries, creating jobs, long-term economic benefits across the country and displace foreign imported oil, making Canada more energy independent."

Earlier Friday, TransCanada reported higher second-quarter profits that met analyst estimates, as it benefited from higher power prices and returns on its natural gas mainline. …

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