Construction has begun on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline at a border crossing in northern Montana, according to a spokesperson for TC Energy.
The 1,930-kilometre pipeline will carry 830,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil to the Gulf of Mexico, where the product will be refined.
100 workers are involved in the early phases of constructing the pipeline, but that number will jump to several thousand in the near future.
According to TC Energy, workers are having their temperatures checked before arriving on-site and are being told to social distance while working.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced a $1.5 billion investment to fast track the project last month. The investment also included a $6 billion loan to TC Energy.
“We cannot wait for the end of the pandemic and the global recession to act,” said Kenney.
“There are steps we must make now to build our future focused on jobs, the economy, and pipelines. Today we are moving forward with a project that is essential to our future prosperity.”
The project is estimated to employ 6,800 people directly or indirectly and will be a profitable investment for the struggling province, according to Kenney.
“After construction is complete, we will be able to sell our shares at profit. In addition, the project will have a net return of over $30 billion to the Alberta taxpayer through royalties and higher prices for Alberta oil in the next 20 years,” said Kenney.
An oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia has wreaked havoc on Alberta’s once-booming oil industry.
The price for Western Canada Select plummeted to a shocking $3.82 a barrel at the end of March but has since recuperated to $12.94 a barrel as of April 6.