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UPDATE 1-Canada's MEG Energy posts Q3 profit on higher prices, lower costs

(Adds details on results)

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Canadian oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp on Thursday reported a third-quarter profit, compared with a loss a year ago, helped by higher bitumen prices and lower production costs.

MEG, whose major operations are in the Athabasca region, is planning on expanding current projects, rather than starting new projects, as oil sands companies deal with expensive production and volatile oil prices.

Calgary, Alberta-based MEG said its realized bitumen prices rose to C$39.89 per barrel in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from C$30.98 a year earlier.

The company said net operating costs fell nearly 23 percent to C$6 per barrel.

MEG reported a profit of C$84 million ($65.6 million), or 28 Canadian cents per share, in the latest quarter, compared with a loss of C$109 million, or 48 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

The company's revenue rose 10 percent to C$546 million. ($1 = C$1.28) (Reporting by Anirban Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)