UPDATE 2-Higher crude transportation fuels Enbridge’s profit beat

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UPDATE 2-Higher crude transportation fuels Enbridge's profit beat

(Reuters) – Enbridge Inc, beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Friday, as the largest pipeline operator in Canada moved more oil.

The company said it expects several of its growth projects to be operational in 2019, including the $700-million Gray Oak pipeline – the biggest of three new pipelines connecting the U.S. Permian basin to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Canada’s oil producers are desperate for new export pipelines as rising production and tight capacity on existing pipelines and rail have led to the Alberta government curtailing output.

“Execution of our $19 billion secured growth capital program remains on track. This includes our US$0.7 billion investment in the Gray Oak pipeline, stretching from the Permian and Eagle Ford to the Texas Gulf Coast,” the company said.

Enbridge transported 2.71 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil on its key Mainline system across Canada and the United States during the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 2.58 million bpd in the same quarter a year earlier.

Net income attributable to common shareholders was C$949 million ($719.43 million), or 47 Canadian cents per share, compared with a loss of C$90 million, or 5 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

The company incurred a loss last year as it took some charges, including a non-cash expense of C$1.02 billion.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 56 Canadian cents per share. Analysts had expected 52 Canadian cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

($1 = 1.3191 Canadian dollars)

Reporting By Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli