(Updates stock quote)
By Nia Williams
CALGARY, Alberta, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Enbridge Inc, Canada’s largest pipeline company, said on Thursday it has identified C$5 billion to C$6 billion ($3.74 billion to $4.49 billion) in potential asset sales, on top of an already announced C$2 billion divestiture target.
Speaking on a quarterly earnings call, Chief Executive Al Monaco said any of the additional divestitures would be “opportunistic” and dependent on a number of factors including valuation.
In September Calgary-based Enbridge set a target of C$2 billion in asset sales over 12 months. A few weeks later, as part of that strategy, it said it would sell its South East Saskatchewan system for just over C$1 billion in cash to Tundra Energy Market Ltd.
The asset sales come after Enbridge agreed in September to buy Spectra Energy Corp in a deal, valued at $28 billion, to create the largest North American energy infrastructure company. Monaco said the acquisition was on track to close in the first quarter of 2017.
“We are essentially bringing together the best liquids and natural gas franchises on the continent under one roof, and in today’s environment, the inherent value of these assets in the ground is increasing because these systems simply can’t be replicated today,” he said, referring to the Spectra deal.
Like its peers, Enbridge has struggled to get regulatory approval to build new crude pipelines such as its Northern Gateway line from Alberta’s oil sands to Canada’s Pacific Coast.
The company is currently awaiting U.S. and Canadian approval to replace its Line 3 pipeline that runs from Edmonton, Alberta, to Superior, Wisconsin.
Monaco said Enbridge was highly confident the line would be in service by the targeted date of 2019, but that there was a possibility it would begin operations later.
Enbridge reported a third-quarter adjusted profit of C$437 million, or 47 Canadian cents, per common share, slightly below an analysts’ estimate of 49 Canadian cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Volumes on the company’s mainline system, which ships the bulk of Canadian crude exports to the United States, averaged 2.35 million barrels per day as Alberta oil production recovered from wildfire-related outages earlier this year.
Enbridge reported a net loss attributable to shareholders narrowed to C$103 million, or 11 Canadian cents per share, from C$609 million, or 72 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
The company’s shares were last down 1.6 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange at C$55.08. ($1 = 1.3377 Canadian dollars) (Additional reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar, Shounak Dasgupta and W Simon)