Enbridge pauses billion dollar gas project due to poor market

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According to Enbridge Spokesman Graham White, the first 400-million cubic-feet-per-day phase is nearly complete, however, the expected volume of gas from northeast B.C.’s Horn River Basin have not materialized as explorers pass by investments.

White says he is unaware when the project will start up again, as Enbridge isn’t seeing the ideal results.

"It is not determined. The market conditions would have to be right. There would have to be gas being produced in the region that would have the requirements for that type of processing facilities which is not what were seeing right now."

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Last year, Enbridge purchased Encana Corporation’s shares in the Cabin project, raising its stakes to an average of 71 per cent in December.

Monday, Enbridge also announced that it had struck a deal to purchase the existing assets of Encana Midstream in northwestern Alberta, as well as to complete and build gathering and processing systems for Encana’s liquids-rich natural gas in that location.

Leon Zupan, president of gas pipelines for Enbridge, says the purchase is part of the companies plan break into a strong and successful Canadian market.

"This agreement in the Peace River Arch region represents another step in the execution of our strategy to establish a strong position in the Canadian midstream business. The investment extends our footprint in the Peace River Arch region, which is expected to grow significantly in the years to come, under the same attractive commercial underpinning and return as our original Cabin investment."

White confirmed that Enbridge will pay roughly $139 million for existing assets, such as pipelines, and then will work with Encana to assess and build out gathering and processing facilities which are expected to result in a total Enbridge investment of approximately $264 million.

The deal is estimated to close in December.

Demand for Horn River gas is expected to rise when liquefied natural gas export facilities are built on the B.C. West Coast.

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