Enbridge on tract to merge with Spectra in March

Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge is on track with its original plan to close its $28 billion acquisition of Spectra Energy, a Houston-based company, in March according to the company.

They have confirmed the U.S Federal Trade Commission signed off on the deal, now they are waiting to be approved under the Canadian Competition Act to create the largest pipeline and energy infrastructure company in North America.

Spectra reported a rise in profits Friday at the end of 2016, reporting a net income of $208 billion compared to a $188 million loss during the end of the previous year. In 2016 Enbridge’s $1 billion profit more than doubled its $460 million net gain from 2015.

When the companies merge, Enbridge Chief Executive Al Monaco will continue as CEO, while Spectra’s CEO will become chairman of the new Enbridge.

“The combination with Spectra Energy will position Enbridge as the premier energy infrastructure company in North America, significantly enhancing our natural gas footprint and diversifying the company’s organic growth opportunities while maintaining its low risk shareholder value proposition,” Monaco said Friday in a prepared statement.

Enbridge’s oil pipeline, rail and electric transmission holdings will combine with Spectra’s 90,000-mile network of gas pipelines when the two companies merge.

Enbridge also closed on buying a 27.6 percent stake for $1.5 billion this week in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, construction resumed this week after receiving regulatory approval from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers.

Last summer the pipeline was nearly completed when the Standing Rock Sioux tribe launched protests to block the project, this drew international attention and environmental activists from around the U.S. Hundreds were arrested and injured during the protests, and despite the protests continuing, construction has resumed.

The pipeline project is designed to carry crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale to Illinois, where it will then connect to networks to bring oil as far south as Nederland, Texas.

Article written by HEI contributor Lydia Ezeakor.

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