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HOUSTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Canadian pipeline operator TransCanada Corp has started trading oil through a new liquids trading group based in Calgary, Alberta, a spokesman for the company confirmed on Friday.
TransCanada, which already operates a regulated power trading and marketing group based in Westborough, Massachusetts, has eyed a liquids group for more than a year now.
Although a spokesman for the company did not provide details related to its trading operations, Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling in an earlier interview with Reuters said the group would trade all grades of Canadian and U.S. crude along its network, which runs from Alberta and to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The move follows a difficult year for Canada's second largest pipeline operator. In 2015, the company announced scores of layoffs following an 18-month long slump in oil prices, and in November U.S. President Barack Obama vetoed the company's long-disputed Keystone XL pipeline.
TransCanada is still pursuing the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline, which would carry crude from western Canada to the Atlantic coast.
The Calgary-based company operates a network of pipelines in the United States and Canada, including its Marketlink pipeline which delivers crude from the crucial crude storage and trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, to Port Arthur, Texas.
Canadian competitor Enbridge Inc also operates at trading and marketing subsidiary through Tidal Energy Marketing. (Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Marguerita Choy)