UPDATE 2-Enbridge profit misses slightly, hurt by Fort McMurray wildfire

Fri Jul 29, 2016 11:28am EDT
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(Adds comments from earnings call, share price update)

By Nia Williams and Amrutha Gayathri

CALGARY, Alberta, July 29 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc, Canada's largest pipeline company, reported a slightly lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as its liquids pipeline business was hit by a massive wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The company said oil deliveries were 255,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 10 percent, lower than expected in May and June due to fire disruption, but volumes came back up by the end of last month and are expected to return to normal in the third quarter.

Several producers and pipeline operators halted work in the region for weeks, at one point cutting Canada's crude output by more than a million barrels a day. All of Enbridge's pipelines in and out of its Cheecham terminal were shut down.

Enbridge shares were last up 2 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange at C$52.46, and analysts said investors were likely relieved the impact from the fires had not been greater.

"All in, a good set of results with notably continued strong contribution from new oil infrastructure projects," BMO analyst Ben Pham said in a note.

Chief executive Al Monaco said growing oil sands production from projects like Suncor Energy's Fort Hills meant capacity on Enbridge's Mainline system, which ships the bulk of Canadian crude exports to the United States, will become tight.

"We think about 700,000 barrels per day of new capacity is going to be needed to accommodate heavy growth by 2020," Monaco said.   Continued...