Exxon's Pipeline Spill Could Cost Investors

ExxonMobil's (NYSE: XOM  ) recent oil spill from its Pegasus crude pipeline in Mayflower, Ark., could cost investors in a number of industries. The White House Council on Environmental Quality is expected to release new standards this spring that could make LNG exportations and pipeline project approval more difficult, and with an estimated 12,000 barrels of oil flooding neighborhoods in Arkansas, the federal government will take a closer look at possible environmental regulations.

TransCanda's (NYSE: TRP  ) Keystone XL pipeline will be the first big project that could feel the ramifications from this recent spill. However, investors in Canadian oil-sands producers, such as Suncor Energy (NYSE: SU  ) , could also be affected as the discount in Western Canadian Select crude benchmark could widen to WTI prices. With $38 billion in North American pipeline projects expected this year, a more stringent approval process will add significant headwinds to the energy midstream space.

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