TransCanada says position strong without KXL

Canadian pipeline company reports a $1.8 billion loss for the fourth quarter.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Feb. 11, 2016 at 9:28 AM
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CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- TransCanada Corp. said it reported a $1.8 billion loss for the fourth quarter, but maintained it would soldier on even without the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

For the sixteenth year in a row, the company announced it raised its dividend even as its losses mount as a result of a weak market for crude oil. The company announced a net loss of the fourth quarter of $1.8 billion, against net income of $330 million for the same period in 2014.

The company in mid-2015 started a restructuring initiative aimed at making its existing operations more effective while leaving its general corporate strategy in place. In November, the federal U.S. government crimped part of TransCanada's portfolio by denying a permit to build the cross-border Keystone XL oil pipeline, largely on environmental grounds.

"While we were extremely disappointed by the denial of a Presidential Permit for Keystone XL and the resulting $2.9 billion after-tax non-cash impairment charge, we are well positioned to continue to grow earnings and cash flow in the years ahead," the company said in its earnings report

The company in January filed plans to issue a claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement in response to a U.S. federal decision to deny its permit to build the pipeline. A lawsuit was also filed in a federal court in Houston, arguing U.S. President Barack Obama overstepped his authority in his decision to deny construction of the pipeline.

A report from the National Energy Board in Canada found the nation's crude oil sector would weather the market storm in 2016, though momentum may be throttled without new pipelines. Without new pipelines, the industry will be forced to rely more on rail and other high cost shipping methods, the report found.

The company said it continued to support the advancement of Keystone XL. The existing Keystone network in the United States added additional long-term delivery contracts in the fourth quarter.

Elsewhere, though TransCanada's pipeline portfolio is robust, the company is facing delays with its Energy East pipeline meant to bring Alberta crude oil to eastern Canadian markets.

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