Enbridge Inc., Canada's largest pipeline operator, beat analysts' estimates for quarterly profit on May 10, as it benefited from transporting more oil and gas across its pipelines.
The company said it transported 2.7 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of crude oil on its key Mainline system across Canada and the U.S. during the first quarter, up from 2.6 million bbl/d in the year-ago quarter.
Enbridge has been working on replacement works on its Line 3 pipeline project that would run from Alberta to Wisconsin and connect to pipelines carrying crude to refineries in the United States.
Construction costs for the project were tracking below budget in Canada and above budget in the U.S. due to permitting delays in Minnesota, the company said.
Adjusted earnings rose to C$1.64 billion (US$1.22 billion) in the first quarter ended March 31, from C$1.38 billion in the year-ago quarter.
On an adjusted per share basis, the company earned 81 Canadian cents, while analysts' on average had expected 72 Canadian cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Enbridge has an extensive network of crude oil, liquids and natural gas pipelines plus regulated natural gas distribution utilities and renewable power generation throughout North America. The company's Mainline and Express Pipeline accounts for roughly 62% of U.S.-bound Canadian crude oil exports and moves about 20% of all natural gas consumed in the U.S. (US$1 = C$1.3463)
Sinking oil prices are turning distressed U.S. energy companies, such as Gastar Exploration, Parker Drilling and Waypoint Leasing, into takeover targets for opportunistic private investors.
Use of digital technologies such as those associated with enhanced reservoir modeling, advanced seismic data processing and sensors could lead to a 10% to 20% drop in production costs for the oil and gas industry.
The industry’s focus is expected to remain on capital allocation, people and supply and demand next year.