(Adds details on Keystone pipeline, background on crude output)
Feb 11 (Reuters) - Keystone pipeline operator TransCanada Corp on Thursday beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit, as it moved more oil and gas amid a rise in crude production.
Canadian pipelines are running at full capacity due to a production surge in Alberta, forcing the provincial government to order production cuts at a time when crude demand from the country has risen, following U.S. sanctions against Venezuela’s state oil company.
TransCanada’s earnings from its liquids pipelines came in at C$532 million ($399.49 million) compared with a loss of C$932 million a year earlier.
The pipeline operator said it has secured commercial support for all available Keystone XL project capacity. The 590,000 barrels-per-day pipeline system is a critical artery that takes Canadian crude from northern Alberta to refineries in the U.S. Midwest.
The controversial $8 billion pipeline was approved by the Trump administration in 2017, but faced resistance from environmentalists worried about the process of fuel extraction.
In the reported quarter, the company’s net income from its natural gas system increased by C$18 million because of higher investment base and continued system expansions.
TransCanada’s net income attributable to shareholders rose to C$1.09 billion, or C$1.19 per share, in the quarter ended Dec.31.
On an adjusted basis, it earned C$ 1.03 per share and beat analysts’ expectation of 96 Canadian cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Revenue rose 7.7 percent to C$3.9 billion in the quarter and beat the average analyst estimate of C$3.83 billion. ($1 = 1.3317 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)