UPDATE 1-TransCanada's profit rises, readies Gulf Coast pipeline

Tue Nov 5, 2013 1:24pm EST
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* No update on timing for Keystone XL

* Says Gulf Coast project in service within weeks

* Q3 comparable profit C$0.63/shr vs C$0.59 expected

* Shares up 0.3 pct

By Julie Gordon

VANCOUVER, Nov 5 (Reuters) - TransCanada Corp, which is backing the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, said on Tuesday its third-quarter profit rose 30 percent on stronger results from its Canadian natural-gas mainline system and its electricity operations.

The company, Canada's No. 2 pipeline operator, also said it expects to begin filling its Gulf Coast crude oil pipeline within a few weeks. Construction on the line is 95 percent complete.

"We are very close to completion and we would expect that we will be calling for first oil here probably in as early as a few weeks," Alex Pourbaix, president of TransCanada's pipeline division, said on a conference call with investors.

The Gulf Coast pipeline, which will ship oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf Coast, is the southern leg of the Calgary-based company's controversial Keystone XL pipeline.   Continued...