* No damage to TransCanada's U.S. Northeast power assets
* Expects early 2013 decision new on eastern Canada oil line
* Q3 net down 4 pct to C$0.52 per share
* Shares drop 0.5 pct
By Scott Haggett
CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 30 TransCanada Corp
said on Tuesday it will decide early next year on
whether to go ahead with a pipeline to carry up to one million
barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta's oil sands to
refineries in Eastern Canada and on the U.S. East Coast.
The company, Canada's largest pipeline operator, also
reported a 4 percent drop in quarterly profit on Tuesday and
said its power plants in the U.S. Northeast, including the
2,480-megawatt Ravenswood plant in the New York borough of
Queens, were undamaged by Hurricane Sandy.
"The vast majority of our assets in New York and New England
continued to operate through the storm," Alex Pourbaix, head of
the company's energy division, said on a conference call.
TransCanada is looking to expand the reach of its pipeline
network, and as well as studying the eastbound oil line it is
proposing the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to carry
Alberta tar sands crude to Gulf of Mexico refineries.
The East Coast line would take crude oil from the oil sands
and the Bakken shale oil region of North Dakota, Montana and
southern Saskatchewan to eastern refineries that now rely on
expensive imported crude as a feedstock.
The line, which the company calls the Mainline Conversion
Project, would see an under-used cross-Canada natural gas
pipeline converted to oil use and a new pipe built to extend its
Russ Girling, TransCanada's chief executive, said the line
could carry 500,000 to one million barrels a day of synthetic
crude from the oil sands and light sweet crude form North
Dakota's Bakken field to eastern refineries, few of which are
configured to process the tar-like bitumen and heavier crudes
that are Western Canada's primary oil product.
An end-point for the line will be determined after the
company consults with shippers to gauge interest in the project,
which could also fill tankers to take crude to refineries
"The East Coast of Canada is an obvious market, the East
Coast of the United States is an obvious market, but certainly
(also) Europe and some of the Asian markets that can be accessed
economically," Girling said. "Those would be dependent upon
whether or not those customers ... have an interest in buying
A final decision on whether to go ahead with the line will
be made early next year, Girling said.
The company said its net income fell to C$369 million
($369.2 million), or 52 Canadian cents per share, in the third
quarter, from C$384 million, or 55 Canadian cents per share, a
Comparable earnings, which exclude most one-time items, fell
16 percent to C$349 million, or 50 Canadian cents a share.
Revenue fell 4 percent to C$2.13 billion.
Revenue for Canadian Mainline, a 14,101 km (8,743 mile)
natural gas pipeline, fell 6 percent to C$247 million in the
TransCanada said it expects to complete projects worth C$13
billion, including Keystone XL and the Gulf Coast leg of the XL
project, within the next three years.
Construction on the Gulf Coast XL segment, running from the
Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub to Houston, is under way and
TransCanada expects to complete work by late 2013. The line will
carry and initial 700,000 barrels a day, with an ultimate
capacity of 830,000 bpd.
TransCanada shares closed 4 Canadian cents lower at C$44.94
on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.