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C-Suite results: Business leaders vary on Keystone’s positive impact

C-Suite's survey finds varying opinion on Keystone XL's positive impact.

Terray Sylvest/Reute

As TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline moves closer to approval, a minority of Canadian business leaders say they'll be directly, positively impacted by it. But six in 10 say they won't be impacted at all, drawing attention to divisions of opinion across regions and industries.

Half of Canada's resource executives said U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order to revive the pipeline will be positive for business, though more than half of that group believe it will only "somewhat" impact them. Only a third of service executives see a positive impact. Half of the executives surveyed in Western Canada, meanwhile, were bullish on the pipeline – twice as many as the rest of the country.

Of those who found Mr. Trump's pipeline order positive, a third said it will help them increase market access and a fifth said it would boost the West's economy and build support for oil-and-gas investment. In March, TransCanada received a presidential permit to build the pipeline, though it now faces approvals in Nebraska and significant opposition from environmental and aboriginal groups.

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Even some oil-patch executives have their own versions of skepticism for a single pipeline as a sector saviour. "It locks more of our production into a single end user," says John Wright, chief executive of Ridgeback Resources Inc., referring to the United States. While he believes Keystone would be a short-term win for improving oil prices and volumes, "in the long term, it's going to be harder for us to develop other markets for our crude."

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