Keystone XL not needed, says US oil producer

A company originally committed to shipping crude via the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, now thinks the project is unnecessary, Reuters reports.

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Continental Resources, an independent oil producer, signed on to ship 35,000 barrels of oil from North Dakota's Bakken field through Keystone XL but as there is no end in sight to the five-year delay of the project, Continental is using railroads to ship it crude to refineries.

Chief executive of Continental, Harold Hamm, told Reuters that the oil industry is not counting on Keystone XL to relieve oil supply bottlenecks any longer.

"Rail has been a big factor and, you know, proven to be a very effective way" of getting Continental's crude to market, Hamm said on the sidelines of the Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum in New York last week.

Roughly 90 percent of Continental's crude is transported by rail, Hamm said. It may be more expensive, but provides greater flexibility on where the oil is shipped.

A spokesman for TransCanada -- the developer for Keystone XL -- said there is still strong support among industry stakeholders for the pipeline, adding that one company's opinion does not tell the "the whole U.S. energy picture."