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TransCanada has filed eminent domain petitions for two private land parcels along the route of its Keystone XL pipeline, South Dakota daily Rapid City Journal reported, adding that at least one of the families owning the land will challenge the company in court.
Jeffrey Jensen, the owner who plans to fight the petition, told the local daily that TransCanada is offering less money now than it offered the landowners last time, when Jensen signed a five-year easement for his land. But this figure expired when President Obama vetoed the project and banned the pipeline from entering U.S. territory.
Now that President Trump has reversed the veto, TransCanada is once again working on Keystone XL even though the controversy around the pipeline has not been quashed. Native American communities and environmentalists are still trying to stop the pipeline through lawsuits, but it looks like the project is moving ahead slowly but surely.
The latest update from the court is a Montana judge’s order for the State Department to review the new route for Keystone XL, which it last month approved. The review could delay the project, although TransCanada said it did not expect any delays as a result of the judge’s order.
Earlier, in June, a South Dakota judge dismissed an opponents’ appeal against the environmental approval of the project produced by state regulators and upheld by another judge, the Associated Press recalls in a recent update on the Keystone XL saga.
The US$8-billion project will see heavy crude transported from Alberta’s oil sands through Montana, South Dakota, and into Nebraska, where the pipeline will connect to the original Keystone, boosting its transportation capacity in a move much needed by Albertan oil producers.
TransCanada has yet to make the final investment decision on Keystone XL, after it spent four months in open season to see if there was sufficient interest from potential buyers of the crude that the pipeline will transport. At the same time, TransCanada is being pressured by Albertan oil producers to make up its mind.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.