TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline remains vital to the oil and natural gas industry despite the delay in its approval, industry executives said. "It is still very strategic for Canada to be able to access the Gulf Coast refineries," said Greg Stringham, vice president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. TransCanada has already forged shipment deals with producers and refiners if it is built, said Shawn Howard, a spokesman for TransCanada.

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