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UPDATE 1-Canada's Suncor sees increased political risk for Keystone XL oil pipeline

Rod Nickel

pipeline@ (New throughout, adds details about Keystone delays, Suncor comments on other pipelines)

Sept 4 (Reuters) - Canada's second-largest oil producer, Suncor Energy, believes the political situation in the United States has increased the risks to companies counting on construction of TC Energy Corp's proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

A legal fight between TC, previously known as TransCanada, and environmental activists has delayed the Canada-to-Texas pipeline for a decade. A court in Nebraska last month affirmed an alternative route through the state, raising hopes the project might proceed and provide badly needed transport capacity for Alberta's crude.

U.S. President Donald Trump, a supporter of Keystone XL, faces an election in 2020 and candidates for the Democratic nomination are critics of the fossil fuel industry who favor government support for renewable energy and other steps to fight climate change.

"Keystone XL is a massive investment and the political situation in the U.S. is I think increasing the risk associated with that," Suncor CEO Mark Little said at a Barclays investor conference in New York. "Thats one that a lot of people are doing soul-searching about right now because its also a very substantial investment. Now we still believe it will go ahead. But time will tell.

A Suncor spokeswoman could not be immediately reached to clarify Little's comments.

TC Energy could not be immediately reached.

Little said he believes plans to expand the Canadian government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline are "in pretty good shape," and noted there is still ongoing work by Enbridge Inc to replace its Line 3 in Minnesota. (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)