Calgary-based Enbridge Inc.‘s  September 5 announcement that the company is acquiring US natural gas assets for $14 billion from Dominion Energy is the latest instance of a major, storied Canadian energy company looking south for growth opportunities.

In Canada, recent efforts to undertake asset expansions or new projects have been met with uncertainty, delays, cost overruns and public opposition. Other parts of North America offer more inviting environments. 

Enbridge’s acquisition would make it the largest natural gas utility in North America by acquiring three companies operating in Ohio, North Carolina, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. Enbridge views the additions as complementary to its existing Ontario-focused local distribution network and as a sign of its confidence in natural gas’ long-term presence in the continental energy grid.

Speaking about the Dominion deal, Enbridge President and CEO Greg Ebel commented, “We remain firmly of the view that all forms of energy will be required for a safe and reliable energy transition. This transaction helps to achieve greater balance and gives us increased exposure to natural gas, which is and will continue to be the critical fuel to help realize our lower carbon aspirations.”

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James Walsh has 15 years of experience advising executives on domestic and global energy markets and policy. He has worked across Canada, the United States and Europe and is currently based in Atlantic...