TC Energy eyes growth in natural gas, power and storage businesses

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canada’s TC Energy Corp reported a 13% rise in fourth-quarter comparable profit on Thursday, and said it sees significant opportunities in growing its natural gas and power and storage businesses.

The Calgary-based company is the owner of the Keystone XL (KXL) oil pipeline project, which was effectively killed last month when new U.S. President Joe Biden revoked a key permit for the project, which was under construction.

Chief Executive François Poirier said TC Energy was disappointed with the KXL decision but stressed the company had a “large and diversified asset base.”

TC Energy owns North America’s largest natural gas pipeline system, power and storage assets and the existing Keystone oil pipeline. Demand for natural gas, which can be used instead of more carbon-intensive coal for electricity, is growing as more countries focus on tackling climate change.

“Our goal is to be able to prosper irrespective of how the energy mix evolves over time,” Poirier told analysts on an earnings call.

TC Energy said capital spending would total C$7 billion this year. The company expects to record a large non-cash charge in its first-quarter earnings due to the KXL permit cancellation, but did not give further details.

TC Energy is also building the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, and reiterated that project costs will increase significantly due to permit delays and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earnings from the company’s U.S. and Canadian natural gas pipelines rose more than 9% each in the quarter ended Dec. 31, partly helped by lower operating costs for the U.S. pipelines.

Comparable quarterly earnings rose to C$1.1 billion ($867.30 million), or C$1.15 per share, from C$970 million, or C$1.03 per share, a year earlier.

($1 = 1.2683 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Cynthia Osterman