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Enbridge Inc., Canada’s largest pipeline operator, posted quarterly profit below analysts’ estimates on Friday, as higher operating costs ate into the company’s earnings.

The company transported 2.728 million barrels a day of crude oil on its Mainline system during the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, up from 2.685 million barrels a day one year earlier. However, adjusted core earnings from its Mainline system fell 3.7 per cent.

Adjusted earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization in its gas transmission and midstream unit decreased US$4-million, partly hurt by lower gas prices and higher operating costs linked with the Texas Eastern natural gas pipeline blast in Kentucky in August.

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The blast near Danville, Ky., on the Texas Eastern system followed an explosion in Ohio in January last year that injured at least two people.

The company reported a 5.3 per cent rise in adjusted earnings to US$1.23-billion.

On a per share basis, the company earned 61 Canadian cents, below analysts’ expectations of 63 Canadian cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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