Enbridge builds footprint in Montney shale

Shale basin in British Columbia considered one of the largest in the world.

By Daniel J. Graeber

CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Spending $380 million to build a stronger footprint in the Montney shale basin in Canada fits with creating a low-risk profile, Enbridge Inc. said.

Enbridge acquired gas plants and pipeline infrastructure associated with the shale basin in British Columbia from the Canadian subsidiary of Murphy Oil Corp.


"This acquisition fits extremely well with Enbridge's low risk value proposition and supports our key priority of extending and diversifying growth," C. Gregory Harper, president of gas pipelines and processing, said in a statement.

The acquisition comes as companies are streamlining their portfolios and swapping assets in an effort to survive a market downturn characterized by declining crude oil prices. For Murphy, the divestment monetizes its assets in the Montney basin so it can focus on other areas of the North American unconventional shale business. Murphy this week reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of $416 million.

The federal National Energy Board in Canada estimates the Montney shale formation holds as much as 449 trillion cubic feet of marketable natural gas. According to the NEB, the marketable gas reserve estimate makes the Montney shale one of the largest basins of its kind in the world.


Harper said the Montney shale basin has a long record of generating reliable cash flows for operations.

"They also enhance our natural gas footprint within the Montney, one of the most attractive gas plays in North America," he said in a statement.

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