TransCanada Pushes Back Proposed Keystone XL In-Service Date

TransCanada Corp. Friday said it has pushed back the in-service date for its proposed Keystone XL pipeline to the second half of 2015 as it awaits U.S. approval for the controversial project.

The Calgary, Alberta-based pipeline company had previously projected an in-service date of late 2014 or early 2015, subject to obtaining approval from the Obama Administration. The U.S. State Department is still reviewing the project, which has faced stiff opposition from environmental groups.

TransCanada said its $5.3 billion cost estimate for the project will rise, depending on the approval timing. At the end of the first quarter, it had spent $1.8 billion on the project, which would pump 700,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska, where it would link to other pipelines bound for U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

TransCanada also said Friday that it had net income of 446 million Canadian dollars ($437 million), or 63 Canadian cents a share, in the first quarter, up from C$352 million, or 50 Canadian cents, a year earlier. The latest results reflect the National Energy Board approving a return on equity for its Canadian Mainline of 11.50% for the years 2012-2017 compared to the last approved return on equity of 8.08%. As a result, net income in the latest period included C$84 million related to 2012.

Excluding that and other smaller items, the company said, comparable earnings were steady at 52 Canadian cents a share. Analyst expectations were for a profit of 53 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

First-quarter revenue increased to C$2.25 billion from C$1.95 billion. Analyst expectations were for revenue of about C$2.19 billion.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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