(Reuters) - TransCanada Corp, Canada's No. 2 pipeline operator, filed an application with Nebraska authorities to route its Keystone XL pipeline through the state, after U.S. President Donald Trump cleared the way for the project last month.
In November 2015, the pipeline company withdrew the route application it had made to the Nebraska Public Service Commission, after then President Barack Obama denied a permit for the controversial project over environmental concerns.
The 1,179-mile (1,900-km) Keystone XL is meant to ship 830,000 barrels per day of mainly oil sands crude from Alberta to Nebraska and on to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Opposition in Nebraska from environmentalists and some landowners concerned about oil spills had been among several major hurdles facing the Keystone XL project.
"The (Nebraska Public Service Commission) process is the clearest path to achieving route certainty for the project in Nebraska and is expected to conclude in 2017," TransCanada said on Thursday.
The line's route through Nebraska has been the subject of a court case in the state over whether former Governor Dave Heineman was entitled to approve the route. (reut.rs/2jbx05V)
A Nebraska Supreme Court decision in 2015 ruled in support of the pipeline, but a number of Nebraskan landowners filed suits against TransCanada alleging the project violated the state's constitution. (reut.rs/2kpZzh1)
"Keystone XL is and always will be all risk and no reward," said Jane Kleeb, President of the Bold Alliance, an activist network opposing the pipeline.
TransCanada also reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday.
The company said earnings from its U.S. natural gas pipeline business rose more than four-fold to C$416 million, due to its $13 billion acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group in July.
The company's net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to C$358 million, or 43 Canadian cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from C$2.46 billion, or C$3.47 per share, a year earlier.
The latest quarter included charges of about C$1 billion, while the year-earlier quarter had impairment charges of about C$2.9 billion related to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Excluding items, the company earned 75 Canadian cents per share, beating the average analysts' estimate of 72 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 26.9 percent to C$3.62 billion in the quarter. Analysts were expecting a revenue of C$3.50 billion.
(Reporting by Swetha Gopinath and Vishaka George in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Shounak Dasgupta)