TransCanada has confirmed that the regulatory process for the Keystone XL pipeline has now entered the final stages of review by the US Department of State.

TransCanada said that it expects a final regulatory decision for this project by late 2011.

Earlier, the Department of State concluded that Keystone XL will have limited impact on the environment during the construction and operation phase.

The US Department of Energy stated in a recent study that increased Canadian oil imports will help reduce US imports of foreign oil from sources outside of North America.

This supports TransCanada’s point that it can reduce America’s dependence on oil from Venezuela and the Middle East by up to 40% with the Keystone XL pipeline.

The study also confirmed that the construction of Keystone XL will not change global refinery carbon dioxide or total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions.

TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling said that the Keystone XL has been under review since 2008.

The Keystone expansion is expected to be operational in 2013.