The U.S. Department of State has signed and issued a presidential permit to construct the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, TransCanada Corporation said Friday.

“This is a significant milestone for the Keystone XL project," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's chief executive officer. "We greatly appreciate President Trump's Administration for reviewing and approving this important initiative, and we look forward to working with them as we continue to invest in and strengthen North America's energy infrastructure."

TransCanada will continue to engage key stakeholders and neighbors throughout Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota to obtain the necessary permits and approvals to advance this project to construction.

The $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline project had been stalled since late 2015 when then-president Barack Obama denied it a presidential permit. The project, delayed for years by permitting disputes and lengthy environmental assessments, is designed to transport about 830,000 barrels of oil-sands crude oil per day (BBL/d) about 1,179 miles, from Hardesty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would intersect with other pipelines that could bring that crude to refineries in Patoka, Illinois or the Texas Gulf Coast.

President Donald Trump issued a presidential memorandum in January inviting TransCanada to resubmit its application for a presidential permit and instructing the U.S. Department of State to "take all actions necessary and appropriate to facilitate its expeditious review." The secretary of state was instructed to reach a final permitting decision within 60 days after resubmission as to whether the project was in the national interest.

TransCanada said Friday it has discontinued its court challenge of the Obama administration’s actions.

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