Amidst the flurry of executive orders signed by U.S. President Donald J. Trump – starting four hours after his inauguration on Jan. 20 – were several that benefited the resource sector, and there are likely a few more business-friendly changes to come in the months ahead.
Among the headline grabbers was Trump’s promise to quickly approve Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline for Bakken crude after a new environmental study and the building of TransCanada’s 1,900 km Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian diluted bitumen to refineries in Texas.
Although it may take years before construction begins on Keystone, its completion would affect production decisions and mining rates at Canada’s open pit oil sands operations. With former ExxonMobil CEO and chairman Rex Tillerson leading the U.S. State Department, it seems a given that the State Department will approve this major cross-border energy project.
There are also suggestions the Trump administration will speed up reviews for liquid natural gas (LNG) terminals and natural gas pipelines, which will compete directly with Canadian proposed LNG megaprojects.
Miners are perhaps most interested in how the Interior Department and its Bureau of Land Management shapes up under the new administration. …
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