Competition Bureau takes action to protect competition in pipeline transportation for natural gas liquids in Western Canada
July 28, 2022 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau
Yesterday, the Competition Bureau registered a consent agreement with the Competition Tribunal to address its concerns related to certain aspects of the proposed formation of a gas processing joint venture between Pembina Pipeline Corporation and KKR’s Global Infrastructure Funds. In particular, the Commissioner had concerns with the acquisition of a 50% interest in the Key Access Pipeline System (KAPS) project resulting from the associated purchase of the remaining portion of Energy Transfer Canada ULC (ETC) not already held by KKR’s Global Infrastructure Funds. The Bureau is taking this action to preserve competition in pipeline transportation for natural gas liquids (NGLs) in Alberta.
Following a thorough review, the Bureau concluded that the proposed merger would likely result in a substantial prevention of competition in the supply of pipeline transportation for NGLs between northwest Alberta and Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Market participants have indicated that the proposed merger would weaken a likely competitive alternative to Pembina's Peace Pipeline system.
To remedy the Bureau’s concerns, the consent agreement requires Pembina and KKR’s Global Infrastructure Funds to sell ETC’s interest in the KAPS project to a third party. Upstream energy companies have been able to leverage competition between the Peace Pipeline system and KAPS, including negotiating more competitive tolls and additional flexibility, for future NGL transportation on the pipelines. It is expected that this type of competition will continue when KAPS is operational.
The Bureau is satisfied that this agreement will address its competition concerns. The consent agreement is available on the Competition Tribunal’s website.
“Our goal is always to safeguard competitive markets. This agreement will help protect competition in pipeline transportation for natural gas liquids in Alberta and keep prices lower for businesses and consumers down the line.”
Commissioner of Competition
Pembina is a publicly-traded pipeline transportation and midstream service provider for North America’s energy industry. Pembina owns and operates an integrated system of pipelines that transport various hydrocarbon liquids in Western Canada and Northwestern U.S.
KKR is a global investment firm headquartered in New York, N.Y. Its Global Infrastructure Funds currently hold a 49% interest in ETC.
ETC is a midstream oil and gas company that processes natural gas and NGLs and owns a 50% interest in the KAPS project.
Keyera Corp. is a midstream oil and gas company that processes natural gas and NGLs. It owns a 50% interest in the KAPS project and is the operator of KAPS.
The proposed transaction was also reviewed under the Canada Transportation Act.
Mergers of all size and in all sectors of the economy are subject to review by the Bureau to ensure they do not result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition.
Consent agreements generally contain remedial measures that the Competition Bureau has determined are appropriate to address a proposed transaction’s likely anti-competitive effects. A consent agreement has the force and effect of a court order once it is registered with the Competition Tribunal.
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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.
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