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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Canadian Petroleum Heritage
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The history of Enbridge speaks to the constant changes in the oil and gas industry. Companies change names, competitors can merge and diversify their industry portfolio, or the company splits into various groups. Enbridge is the case study of these changes in a dynamic petroleum industry. In 1949, the company began as the Interprovincial Pipe Line Company, constructing a major pipeline to transport oil from Western Canada to refineries in the east. The main focus of the company remained on transportation of oil and gas. By 1985, the system was extended to include Port Credit, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. In 1985, Interprovincial Pipe Line completed construction on the first buried pipeline through permafrost in Canada's North. The pipeline was constructed from Norman Wells to Zama, Alberta, covering 870 kilometres.

Growth led to change with the acquisition of Home Oil Company Limited in 1988. The new company became Interhome Energy Inc. with massive expansions to the existing pipeline. Many name changes and splitting of departments happened during the 1990s, indicating rapid growth for the pipeline company. There were also sales of shares to various interests in the marketplace creating the widely held company. Investment groups include Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P., and Enbridge Energy Management, L.L.C. These groups are collectively referred to as the Partnership. The Partnership transports crude oil and liquid hydrocarbons through common pipelines. Enbridge enjoyed growth in natural gas and natural gas liquid transportation, processing and marketing mostly in the United States. In Canada, Enbridge Gas Distribution distributes gas to more than 1.7 million customers in Ontario, Quebec, New York State, and New Brunswick. In January 2005, Enbridge acquired Shell Gas Transmission for U.S. $613 million. This gave Enbridge interests in eleven natural gas transmission and gathering pipelines in five Gulf of Mexico offshore corridors that transport approximately three billion cubic feet per day. The gas acquisition comes as Enbridge celebrates fifty-two years as a publicly traded company, though many name changes and tremendous growth.


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