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Construction updates

We are committed to building and maintaining positive relationships with landowners, communities and Indigenous groups based on respect, honesty and fairness. We engage early and continue to communicate throughout the construction process, answering questions and providing prompt and accurate information about our construction progress.


Ensuring the safety of our crews and community members during COVID-19

Safety is our number one value! With the current and evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) conditions, we will continue to take guidance from all levels of government and health authorities to determine the most proactive and responsible actions in order to ensure our workforce and the surrounding communities are safe during Keystone XL’s pre-construction and construction activities.

We have sought the expertise and experience of International SOS, Corporate Medical Advisors, a member of the International SOS Group of companies, and their partner Beacon Occupational Health and Safety Services, to provide medical advisory and consultation services.

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U.S. construction updates



Summer 2020

Valley County

  • Pump station — civil site work

McCone County

  • Pump station — civil site work and substation construction

Prairie County

  • Road improvement work and replacement of HWY 340 bridge

Fallon County

  • Baker workforce camp — grading and installation of underground utilities
  • Pump station — construction
April to May, 2020

Phillips County

  • Pipeline construction — completed 1.4-mile (2.2-km) border crossing, reclamation and remediation activities

South Dakota

Summer 2020

Harding County

  • Road improvement work

Haakon County

  • Philip workforce camp — grading, installation of underground utilities and installation of dorms and common area modules

Tripp County

  • Road improvement work
  • Pump station — construction

Gregory County

  • Road improvement work


Summer 2020

Keya Paha, Holt, Antelope, Madison, Platte, Colfax, Butler, Seward, Saline, Jefferson Counties

  • Road improvement work

Canada construction updates



Summer 2020

Flagstaff County

  • Hardisty Facility — continue construction, which involves the installation of a pump station and expansion to our existing terminals and interconnects

MD of Provost #52

  • Lakesend East Pump Station — continue civil earthworks activities

Special Areas Board

  • Monitor South Pump Station and Oyen South Pump Station — continue civil earthworks activities
  • Bindloss Pump Station — continue construction activities for a full buildout of the pump station this year
  • Oyen workforce camp and laydown yard — continue phased mobilization and commission site
  • Special Areas workforce camp and laydown yard — continue mobilization activities and commission site
  • Pipeline scope — grading, fencing, welding and pipe installation activities

MD of Acadia Valley #34

  • Pipeline laydown yard — continue to utilize and transport pipe to construction sites


April to May, 2020
  • Pipeline construction — completed 1.4-mile (2.2-km) border crossing, reclamation and remediation activities

The right-of-way

Prior to construction, we secure rights to strips of land called rights-of-way. While we maintain right-of-way easements for the life of the project, we work with landowners to address any concerns caused by pipeline activities.

Landowners retain ownership of the land and can continue to farm or ranch. There will be some restrictions placed on the easement to ensure the safety of the pipeline, including keeping the land free and clear of brush, trees and permanent structures on the right-of-way. We provide landowners with notice prior to clearing the right-of-way for construction.

The permanent right-of-way for the Keystone XL Project in the U.S. is 50 feet wide and approximately 13 meters in Canada.

Did you know?

We have been internationally recognized for:

  • Being one of the first companies to apply horizontal directional drilling versus open cut for larger river crossings
  • Pioneering the use of innovative winter construction techniques through short grass prairie ecosystems to ensure minimal impacts
  • Investing significantly in the preservation and enhancement of endangered species habitats
  • Adopting and developing new technology to make our pipelines more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Water crossings

How we plan to cross major waterways like the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers

New technologies and engineering techniques allow pipelines such as Keystone XL to be safely installed below a river bed, leaving the natural resources above intact and undisturbed.

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is an environmentally friendly method used to cross sensitive areas with minimal impact to the surrounding area.

HDD crossings bury the pipe deeper on both sides of the riverbank, providing greater protection from floods and high water levels. Pipe used for river crossings has thicker steel with additional anti-corrosion and abrasion-resistant coatings.

Stages of pipeline construction

Construction will be carried out by our highly qualified prime contractors during both summer and winter months, using the safest, least disruptive construction methods that have been developed over the past 75 years.


Clearing and grading – Topsoil is removed and the ground is prepared along the right-of-way. Topsoil is stored so it can be replaced following construction.

Trenching – Trenches are excavated for the pipe, storing the subsoil to fill the trench after the pipe is lowered into the trench.

Stringing/bending – Pipeline crews line up sections of the pipe along the edge of the trench. A machine bends the pipe so that it follows the pipeline route and the contour of the land.

Welding/coating – Extreme care is used to weld the pieces together by highly qualified welders. Pipeline joints are coated with an anti-corrosion material and then carefully inspected.

Lowering in and tie-ins – Specially designed equipment lowers the sections of welded pipe into the trench. A separate crew completes the final welds (tie-ins), connecting continuous lengths of pipe.

Backfilling – The stored subsoil is returned to the trench to bury the pipeline.

Pressure testing – The pipeline is filled with water and pressurized up to a level that exceeds the operating pressure of the line to ensure that the pipeline is ready to transition safely to operation.

Reclamation – Reclamation is a critical part of our project. Clean-up begins immediately following construction to restore the pipeline right-of-way.

Land reclamation

Great care is taken to reduce our impact on the environment and the people who live in the area. Once the pipeline is operating, we work to restore the land to its original condition.

Over the course of our 65-year history, we have successfully reclaimed hundreds of thousands of acres of land in arid grasslands, mountainous regions, sandy soils, forest, wetlands and rich croplands. We value the landscape where we live, where we work and where we play, and like you, we care about the environment. That means we want to cause as little disturbance to the land and to the landowners and land users as possible.

Land reclamation