Jobs may be lost in Canada due to delays in the Obama administration's decision regarding construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, according to Russ Girling, chief executive officer of pipeline operator TransCanada.

The company had planned to start construction of the pipeline this summer but that will no longer happen, as approval for the project is still pending on the U.S. side. Due to the delays, TransCanada is considering ways to reduce the capacity of certain operations or even to phase out some of them as they may become redundant. It is likely that staff will be laid off in the process, Girling said.

Although Girling did not commit to a specific figure, the Huffington Post Canada reported that TransCanada has dedicated hundreds of jobs to Keystone XL specifically and all of them could be affected.

Speaking to reporters last week, Girling also revealed that the delays have affected capital cost of the project, which has been in the works for five and a half years now. Initially, the cost of the project was estimated at $5.4 billion but this has increased over time. A significant part of these costs will eventually have to be passed on to consumers, he pointed out. Girling also stated that he was considering suing under NAFTA if the Keystone project is ultimately rejected, according to the Globe and Mail.