Canada Looks to Asia after Oil Pipeline Delay

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is disappointed with the Obama administration's decision to delay construction of TransCanada Corp.'s $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.

The delay is designed not to ruffle environmentalists feathers before next year's election.

Harper says Canada won't wait and will start selling more of its energy products to Asia.

"This does underscore the necessity of Canada making sure that we're able to access Asian markets for our energy products and that will be an important priority of this government going forward," the prime minister said late Sunday.

Harper also said many in the U.S. are unhappy with delaying the pipeline, but he remains optimistic that the project will proceed "because it makes eminent sense."

Largely because of complaints from Nebraska, the State Department agreed Nov. 10 to look for new routes that would steer clear of the state's Sandhills region and the aquifer, which flows beneath eight states and provides irrigation to huge farming areas. That effort will delay a final decision until early 2013.

The 1,661-mile pipeline is expected to deliver 700,000 barrels of crude oil from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, crossing Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

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