REGINA - Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall is hoping the U.S. government will approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline now that the presidential election is over.
Wall said the pipeline could carry oil from the Bakken formation, which is under parts of Montana, North Dakota and Saskatchewan. He said up to 20 per cent of the pipeline capacity could come from the North Dakota Bakken play and that would benefit Saskatchewan.
"Anything that eases pipeline capacity issues for Bakken oil, even if it's on the U.S. side, is going to help us," Wall said Wednesday.
"We are now trucking more and more oil in that area because of pipeline capacity issues, in part. We are now rail-carring more and more oil out of this province and across Canada because of pipeline capacity. Keystone's important to the country and it impacts us and so we'd like to see that approved and we hope it is."
The TransCanada (TSX:TRP) pipeline would carry bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to U.S. refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
While a Mitt Romney win would have almost certainly ensured the startup of the Keystone pipeline, some observers have suggested President Barack Obama will be more critical of the project. Obama had delayed approval of the project until next year after environmental groups put enormous pressure on his government.
Wall also noted that Saskatchewan had concerns over Buy American policies the Obama administration introduced in the past.
He was taking a wait-and-see approach Wednesday.
"We've seen a few little trade irritants and so I think that we need to measure this new Congress and the new administration on an issue-by-issue basis," said Wall.