(Bloomberg) TC Energy Corp.’s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline took another step forward with U.S. approval of a key stretch of construction.The Interior Department authorized construction across a swath of federal land in Montana, according to a release on Wednesday.While approval by the oil-friendly Trump administration was expected, the move is a sign of growing momentum for a project that ground to a halt under federal opposition in 2015.“This is another important step as we advance towards building this important energy infrastructure project,’’ TC spokesman Terry Cunha said in an email.Progress on Keystone XL, which will boost shipments of crude from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, is a welcome sign for a Canadian energy industry that has been hamstrung by a too little pipeline capacity. The pipeline pinch has weighed on local crude prices and stunted explorers’ expansion plans.But the $8 billion pipeline isn’t in the clear just yet. It’s still the subject of a legal challenge in Montana, and additional federal permits are still necessary.
Calgary-based TC was little changed at C$71.26 at 3:11 p.m. in Toronto. The shares are up 29% in the past 12 months, compared with a 6.8% gain for the S&P/TSX energy index.
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