Delay of Keystone XL Pipeline affects local refineries

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The following is a press release from the ConocoPhillips Lake Charles Refinery.

"The development of the Keystone XL pipeline presents a unique opportunity to provide greater energy security for American consumers, and the positive economic impact of the pipeline is clear – it will create thousands of jobs, inject private sector spending into the economy and generate needed tax revenues.

ConocoPhillips, as a major North American producer and refiner, ships crude oil on the existing Keystone pipeline today and will be a shipper on Keystone XL in the future. We have several refineries in the Mid-Continent and Gulf Coast regions, including our Lake Charles Refinery, that could purchase crude oil transported on this pipeline and convert it into important products to meet our nation's energy needs.

Delaying the pipeline poses serious energy security issues for the Gulf Coast-area refineries that were built for heavy oil. They now process oil from Mexico and Venezuela. Thousands of U.S. refining jobs depend on that supply. But heavy oil production in both countries is falling. And some of Venezuela's oil is being diverted elsewhere for political reasons. Canada's oil sands are an ideal replacement. Otherwise, imports will have to continue from more distant and possibly unfriendly sources – if the heavy oil is even available."