The proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. would make "OPEC obsolete," billionaire energy entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens told CNBC on Wednesday.
"Canadians say they have 250 billion barrels [of oil]. That's exactly what the Saudis claim they have," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "You're sitting there with the same amount of oil available to the United States from Canada … as Saudi Arabia."
"But when you move the oil through the Strait of Hormuz everyday, it's 17 million barrels," Pickens said. "The Navy is shepherding a cartel daily through the Strait of Hormuz. And then to China and Europe, and we get 10 percent of it."
Since the pipeline by TransCanada would run from Alberta province through the U.S. to the Gulf of Mexico, it needs approval by President Barack Obama, who has faced intense lobbying from environmental groups against the project.
Last week, the Energy Information Administration estimated that the U.S. will be the top producer of oil and natural gas in 2013, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia.
In advocating for the Keystone pipeline, Pickens said, "What you should do is put Canada, Mexico, and the United States together."
Canada doesn't need help from the U.S., but Mexico does, he added. "You could give Mexico a great deal of help, money. You could loan them money. You get a call on the oil. They repay the debt."
—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere
Video at link: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101098969#_gus