One of Canada's top energy companies plans to bolster its presence in the U.S. with the acquisition of a Houston natural gas pipeline company.
TransCanada Corp. on Thursday announced an agreement to purchase Columbia Pipeline Group for $13 billion. Columbia operates some 15,000 miles of pipeline between New York and the Gulf of Mexico — particularly in gas-rich areas of the Appalachian Basin.
"The acquisition represents a rare opportunity to invest in an extensive, competitively-positioned, growing network of regulated natural gas pipeline and storage assets in the Marcellus and Utica shale gas regions," TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling said in a statement.
Combined, the companies would operate about 57,000 miles of natural gas pipeline — one of the largest networks on the continent.
Officials also touted links between top shale gas deposits and major markets, along with an increased capacity to send natural gas to liquefied natural gas terminals for export.
"With a combined portfolio of $23 billion in near-term projects secured by cost of service regulation or long-term contracts, we are well positioned to generate significant growth in earnings into the next decade," Girling added.
The company added that the deal would provide an estimated $250 million in annual financial benefits.
TransCanada last month announced the first quarterly loss in its history after the Obama administration rejected the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to link Alberta's oil sands with refineries on the Gulf Coast.
The company is challenging that decision in federal court and under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement.