Building pipelines is never easy. There are usually multiple routes proposed by competing consortia , each with their coterie of lobbyists representing the corporations and foreign governments. If it takes this long to get a final decision on the Keystone Pipeline what can you expect when multiple governments with a lesser degree of economic integration than Canada and the US are involved? A McCain presidency would in all likelihood have meant that the Keystone Pipeline would have been completed by this date. Which leads us to the point at which we acknowledge that domestic politics matters. The governments representing countries that will provide transit routes draw support from constituencies with a vested interest in the pipelines or in alternatives to the pipelines.
Foreign policy priorities also change during the transition from one administration to the next. The idea of permanent national interests is largely a myth. Of course Realists have trouble accepting this. Where there cost of changing existing policy is low there will be strong incentives for the new administration to set its own priorities. Strategic planning across administration implies an issue that is so important that it seizes the attention of the foreign policy establishment and as with containment, a general consensus on a doctrine is developed.
International Trade Rules:
Depending on the country and what trade agreements it is party to; the awarding of contracts can be mandated to be politically neutral i.e governments cannot determine who gets what jobs. Admittedly countries can find ways around these rules when their is a consensus among the relevant parties.
Before the fracking revolution took hold in the US , natural gas was being talked about as the new oil; the vital resource over which geopolitical competition would take place. Ironically I recall (but can't find a source) of a G-8 meeting in which Putin was asking the US to make a formal agreement for the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia. Now there is hype over exporting LNG to the EU. Just because plans are made for a project it doesn't mean that market price movements won't motivate producers to abandon their planned investments.
The member states of the EU are ultimately the consumers of natural gas and the counties that among other things would be expected to provide direct economic assistance to Ukraine as well as access to their markets. Each of these is a matter of intra EU negotiation subject to the same constraints as US policymaking. If there really was a strategic plan to be developed that would secure alternatives to Russia for natural gas while reorienting Ukriane toward the West is was have to going to have to be EU led. Obviously , rhetoric aside , it wasn't that important to them.
Planning in general is easiest when less people are consulted - it's an equation with fewer variables - and there is broad agreement among those involved as to what needs to be done.