Keystone XL Operator TC Energy Will Have a New Top Boss in 2021

One of North America’s biggest midstream companies is getting a new chief in the new year. He will oversee the construction of a 1,200-mile-long pipeline that has been a decade in the making.


TC Energy, Canada’s largest midstream operator, announced today that it is promoting its Chief Operating Officer François Poirier to become its next president and chief executive officer on 1 January 2021. He will succeed the company’s current head of 10 years, Russ Girling, who is retiring.

Poirier has been with the company, formerly known as TransCanada Corp., for 6 years where he has also led the company’s power and storage business units along with its operations in Mexico. He previously spent 2 decades as an investment banker focused on the oil and gas sector.

Girling’s tenure coincides with TC Energy’s decade-long effort to construct the Keystone XL pipeline which was first proposed in 2010 and only officially sanctioned a few months ago.

The cross-border pipeline project had been marked by environmental controversy and regulatory opposition during the administration of then US President Barack Obama. In March of this year, current US President Donald Trump removed federal roadblocks through executive action.

This cleared the way for the 1,200-mile-long pipeline to carry 830,000 B/D of Canadian crude from Alberta to an existing hub in Nebraska that is connected to refineries in along the US Gulf Coast.

The Calgary-based TC Energy said in April that it would begin building the $8-billion project after the Alberta government took the extraordinary step of agreeing to finance part of it through a $1.1-billion equity investment. The government also agreed to become the guarantor of TC Energy’s credit facility of about $4.2 billion. At that time, TC Energy said it held 20-year contracts for at least 575,000 B/D of the pipeline’s capacity.

Under Girling, TC Energy expanded its footprint to include nearly 3,000 miles of liquids pipelines and along with 57,900 miles of natural gas pipelines. The company also operates seven power-generation facilities capable of producing 4,200 megawatts, or enough it says to power 4 million homes. Three-quarters of the combined capacity is generated using natural-gas-fired power plants.