Tar sands developments such as this one, in Northern Alberta, could be expanded if Keystone XL is approved.
Tar-sands developments such as this one, in northern Alberta, could be expanded if Keystone XL is approved.
Shutterstock / Christopher Kolaczan

The U.S. State Department has curiously asserted that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t significantly affect the development of tar-sands fields in Alberta, Canada. But that assertion is being contradicted by a big player in the Canadian tar-sands industry.

Steve Laut, president of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., told the Toronto Globe and Mail that “we do need Keystone” to be built if the industry is to increase its oil extraction in Alberta. Here’s the quote in the context of the article:

New refinery capacity and pipeline projects coming on line will help demand and prices for Canadian bitumen in the next two years but Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. president Steve Laut says the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will eventually be essential for growth in the oil sands industry.

“Long-term, we do need Keystone to be able to grow the volumes in Canada,” Mr. Laut said in an interview following the release of his company’s first-quarter results on Friday.

Mr. Laut’s emphasis on the importance of Keystone stands in contrast to what others in the industry, as well as the U.S. State Department, have said regarding the project.

Are you listening, State Department?