US delay on Keystone Pipeline may hurt relationship with Canada

23 May 2013 22:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Delaying a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline could hurt the relationship between the US and Canada, industry experts said on Thursday.

The US and Canada represent the biggest trading partnership in the world, with 25% of oil imports coming in the US from Canada, according to Marathon Oil’s vice president of North America production operations, Gretchen Watkins.

“Hopefully projects like the Keystone will help to increase that,” she said.

But the lack of decision on the project could change the way Canada views its relationship with the US.

“This has caused the US not to be worried about trading with Canada, but because of the delay on the Keystone Pipeline, the reverse is not true,” according to Bill Arnold, professor of practice of energy management at the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.

“They are realising that the US may not be the reliable market that they always thought we were, and it’s driving them to have to consider the Chinese and other countries [for exports],” Arnold said during the KPMG Global Energy Conference.

Watkins added that the Keystone Pipeline is not just a matter of securing imports from a reliable source, but also one of securing jobs.

“I hope [the pipeline will be built] but commodities will always find a market,” Watkins said.

The KPMG Global Energy Conference concludes on Thursday.

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By: Anna Matherne

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