Alberta-based TC Energy and Natural Law Energy have signed a memorandum of understanding for indigenous First Nation groups to pursue an equity interest in the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
TC Energy said a final agreement with NLE is expected to completed in the fourth quarter of 2020, formalizing its participation in the Keystone XL project.
They would likely acquire a minority stake in the pipeline project, Kallanish Energy reports.
NLE represents four First Nations in Alberta and one in Saskatchewan: Three Maskwacis Nations and the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, all in Alberta, and the Nekaneet First Nation in Saskatchewan.
NLE would also potentially acquire stakes in other midstream and energy projects.
The agreement is designed to create a meaningful and significant long-term partnership, the parties said in a statement.
The “announcement is a testament to what we can accomplish when industry and indigenous groups work together,” said Chief Alvin Francis, president of NLE. “This historic agreement is an important step for our peoples and future generations to share in the energy wealth coming from our lands and traditional territories.”
NLE CEO Travis Meguinis called the partnership “historic and one of the largest ever of its kind in Canada and around Turtle Island (North America).”
TC Energy said it intends to expand the model to create future opportunities for First Nation groups, said Richard Pryor, president of Keystone XL.
The company is committed to ensuring that indigenous groups share in the benefits of the Keystone XL Pipeline, he said.
Pryor told The Canadian Press that the deal will be for a minority stake in the pipeline and that TC Energy won’t directly provide the funding.
The MOU is a first-of-its-kind document for TC Energy, the company said.
The $8 billion pipeline has been stalled by a legal fight over stream-crossing permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
It will move crude oil from Alberta to the U.S. Midwest.
The pipeline will be 1,209 miles in length: 327 miles in Canada and 882 miles in the U.S.
It would run from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would connect to pipelines to Illinois and the Gulf Coast.
It would move 830,000 barrels per day.
The pipeline was first proposed in 2008. It was killed in 2015 by President Barack Obama and revived in 2017 by President Donald J. Trump.
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