Enbridge Inc. (ENB), the largest transporter of Canadian crude to the U.S., may buy pipelines or terminals in Australia or Colombia in the next six months and could expand its domestic holdings, Chief Financial Officer J. Richard Bird said.
The company plans to do as many as three deals in the next six months, focusing natural gas infrastructure and international expansion opportunities, Bird said in an Aug. 12 interview in at Enbridge’s Calgary headquarters. The interest in Australia and Colombia is driven by the role those countries are expected to play in meeting growing demand for oil and gas in Asia, Bird said.
“Those are all areas we would be interested in because they would be similar to our Canadian strategy, which is to develop infrastructure which is going to take hydrocarbon exports to new and growing markets,” he said.
Enbridge, which sold pipeline systems in Spain and Colombia in 2008 and 2009, has also been evaluating possibilities in China, Chief Executive Officer Pat Daniel said in May.
Within Canada, the company is “possibly” interested in a system of plants and pipelines in Canada being sold by BP Plc. (BP/), Bird said. The assets, which handle natural-gas liquids such as propane and ethane, could fetch as much as $2 billion.
Enbridge would only want to buy the assets if the deal could be structured in such a way that its exposure to volatile commodity prices were limited, Bird said. The company’s current agreement with BP for its Aux Sable gas and liquids processing business provides for a fixed annual fee and a percentage of profits generated in excess of specified targets, he said.
The Aux Sable business is jointly owned by Enbridge, Veresen Inc. and Williams Energy Solutions Inc., according to Enbridge.
“It’s a much more cushioned or less-volatile earnings stream,” he said. “That’s the kind of arrangement that we will be looking for in a midstream investment.”
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