What Are Some Facts About the Keystone Pipeline?


Quick Answer

The Keystone Pipeline is a privately owned oil pipeline extending across most of North America and is the property of the Transcanada Corporation. A controversial extension to the pipeline called Keystone XL may add additional capacity to the pipeline on a new route from Alberta to Nebraska, as of 2015.

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Full Answer

They Keystone pipeline stretches from Hardisty, Alberta in the Canadian tar sands to Port Arthur, Texas, where it supplies oil refineries near the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The existing pipeline is 2,639 miles long, travelling east through Canada from Alberta to Manitoba then turning south and entering the United States in North Dakota. It continues south to Steele City, Nebraska where one arm splits off to serve markets in Illinois and another continues south to the Gulf coast.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is intended to increase capacity on the portion of the pipeline that lays between Hardisty, Alberta and Steele City, Nebraska. The Keystone XL pipeline is designed to have a more direct route that is 1169 miles long, with 840 miles in the United States and the remaining 329 miles in Canada. The 36-inch diameter pipeline adds capacity equal to 830,000 barrels per day to the Keystone pipeline system. Safety and environmental concerns are the primary objections to the additional pipeline, as the proposed route crosses over critical aquifers and agricultural regions.

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