Pembina Pipeline Corp. increased its bet on the future of Canada’s turbulent oil-sands industry, agreeing to buy Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Canadian unit and the U.S. portion of a key pipeline for about $3.3 billion.
Bloomberg News reports the deal makes Pembina a major player in the oil-storage business, giving it 10 million barrels of capacity in the crude complex near Edmonton, Alberta, a key hub for oil-sands producers. With the takeover of Kinder’s Cochin Pipeline system, Pembina also becomes a key provider of the condensate that oil-sands companies need to blend with their thick crude to enable it to flow through pipelines.
The acquisition is a major bet on the future of the oil sands at a time when delays to key export pipelines have hampered the industry’s ability to expand and forced the Alberta government to support Western Canadian heavy crude prices with unprecedented production limits, which it extended for another year on Tuesday. The deal also continues a flight of international capital out of the oil sands, following major divestitures from ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell Plc in recent years.