Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- TransCanada Corp. expects to finish construction and begin commissioning the southern portion of its Keystone expansion by the end of October.
Linefill is expected to begin shortly thereafter, Les Cherwenuk, project director for the company, said in an interview following a speech at Hart Energy’s Executive Energy Club in Houston. He wouldn’t comment on the crude mix, though he said that filling the pipeline for the first time, a process forecast to take 30 days, would be easier with lighter crude.
The line is expected to speed the decrease of crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Supplies at Cushing fell to 32.8 million barrels last week, the lowest level since February 2012, the Energy Information Administration reported today. They reached a record 51.9 million on Jan. 11.
WTI rose as much as 1.8 percent, reversing an earlier decline, after the news broke. November-delivery futures gained $1.84 to $103.88 a barrel at 11:19 a.m. on the Nymex.
“It’s positive for TI because there were lots of rumors going around that this could get delayed,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst for Energy Aspects Ltd. in London. “That was one of the biggest factors weakening it.”
Construction of the 700,000-barrels-a-day pipeline to the Texas Gulf Coast from Cushing is split into three sections. The middle section is already finished and the southern section should be completed in the next week, Cherwenuk said. The northernmost portion of the pipeline, orginating at Cushing, and a terminal at Cushing still need to be completed, he said.
--Editors: Margot Habiby, David Marino