Keystone Cushing-to-Gulf Coast oil pipe on target for Dec.

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TransCanada Corp's 400,000 barrel per day Keystone Marketlink pipeline between Cushing, Oklahoma, and Port Arthur, Texas is on target to begin commercial operations in December of this year, the company said on Friday.

"Expeditious approval of this Petition is critical as Marketlink expects to file tariffs by Nov. 1, 2013, 30 days in advance of the facilities' anticipated in-service date of Dec. 1, 2013," TransCanada said in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

In its earnings report for the first quarter, also released on Friday, the TransCanada said the project was 70 percent complete by the end of the year.

Construction of a lateral pipeline to take crude to Houston should begin in the middle of this year and be completed by mid-2014, the company said.

The Marketlink pipeline is the southern leg of TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is currently awaiting permits before the segment between Alberta, Canada, and Cushing can be constructed.

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