The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Keystone XL Pipeline, by the Numbers

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 19, 2011

Today makes it three years since TransCanada asked the State Department to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver Canadian oil sands crude to U.S. refiners. To mark the anniversary, some numbers worth noting:

10,000 - U.S. jobs that TransCanada says would be created immediately if the project is approved.

20,000 - U.S. jobs that would be created during the pipeline's construction.

500,000 - Total U.S. jobs that would result by 2035 from full utilization of Canada's oil sands, which includes the Keystone XL, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

2,400 - U.S. companies that already are supporting development of Canada's oil sands, including equipment and services used in Canada and modifications of U.S. refineries to receive Canadian crude - via the Keystone XL.

3,000 - Trucks, with one arriving and unloading every two minutes, to replace a 150,000 barrel-per-day 1,000-mile pipeline; the expanded Keystone XL is expected to move three times that amount of oil.

$775 billion - Economic benefit to the United States by 2035, with full development of Canada's oil sands.

4 million - Barrels of oil per day from Canada that could come to the U.S. by 2020, facilitated by the Keystone XL, or twice what currently is imported from the Persian Gulf. Canadian oil would be a big part of a secure energy future that could see 100 percent of our liquid fuel needs supplied domestically and from Canada by 2026.

In a conference call with reporters Monday, API Executive Vice President Marty Durbin stressed the Keystone XL's importance to the United States:

"The pipeline needs to be approved. As we've consistently highlighted, the pipeline - and the broader utilization of Canada's oil sands - will create U.S. jobs, grow our economy and strengthen our energy security. But, as the president speaks every day of the need for job creation, this project is more critical than ever."

It's unfortunate project approval has taken so long. As Durbin noted, the process typically usually takes 18 months to two years. On the bright side, the project has been thoroughly studied. Over three years the State Department has produced three environmental assessments that found no issues of significance to justify the project's rejection.

America needs the Keystone XL pipeline. For the jobs, for the economy, for the energy. TransCanada and all of the supporting companies, many of them U.S., are ready to build it. The project is the definition of "shovel-ready." Time for government to just say yes.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.