Enbridge, DTE and Spectra plan to build Ohio natural gas pipeline

CALGARY — Enbridge Inc. and two American partners are planning to build a pipeline to connect natural gas from Ohio shale fields to markets in the U.S. Midwest and Ontario.

CALGARY — Enbridge Inc. and two American partners are planning to build a pipeline to connect natural gas from Ohio shale fields to markets in the U.S. Midwest and Ontario.

The Calgary-based company (TSX:ENB), Spectra Energy Corp. and DTE Energy announced Tuesday they are teaming up on the Nexus Gas Transmission System.

The cost of the 400-kilometre pipeline is expected to be between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion, depending on its ultimate size, said Enbridge spokesman Larry Springer.

“The larger the diameter, actually, the increased costs,” he said.

The companies will hold an open season later this year in which potential customers can bid for space on the pipeline, which is expected to have a capacity of one billion cubic feet per day.

Results of that process should be known early next year.

Ownership of the Nexus pipeline will be divided equally between Enbridge, Spectra and DTE.

The pipeline will start in northeastern Ohio, make its way through southeastern Michigan and wind up in southern Ontario.

The line will reach the Ontario market via the existing Vector pipeline system — currently a joint venture between Enbridge and DTE, which will soon include Spectra as a 20 per cent owner.

To make room for Spectra in that partnership, Enbridge’s ownership in Vector is expected to go from 60 to 48 per cent and DTE’s is expected to go from 40 to 32 per cent.

Enbridge, Spectra and DTE aim to have the pipeline in service as early as November 2015, “depending on final market demand and commitments.”

Spectra is a natural gas infrastructure company, focusing on gathering, processing, transmission, storage and distribution.

Detroit-based DTE has electrical and natural gas utilities in Michigan, as well as storage, pipeline and other energy businesses.

“I think what we’re seeing industry-wide is the demand growth is really coming from the power generation sector,” said Mark Bering, director of marketing for DTE pipelines.

“I know everybody wants wind power and solar power, but those sources of generation need back up generation where there is no sun or there is no wind blowing — and a large part of that is coming from natural gas.”

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