(NY Times) When the Obama administration began considering the Keystone XL pipeline seven years ago, oil production in the United States was falling and most analysts thought it would never recover. At the same time, Mexican oil production was also in decline, meaning that domestic refineries would soon need another source of crude.

Canada, and its expanding oil sands industry, seemed like the perfect solution. But so much has changed in the oil patch since then that many energy experts say the Keystone pipeline, which the Obama administration rejected on Friday, matters far less than it once did.

Domestic production has nearly doubled and has flooded the market with so much crude oil that prices have plummeted. Refineries along the Gulf Coast still need the heavy crude Canada produces, but they are finding new ways to obtain it, and storage facilities are filled to the brim.

“Keystone XL is not nearly as important as it seemed to be a few years ago,” said Rusty Braziel, the president of RBN Energy, a consulting firm. “For Gulf refineries it is not a huge deal.”