Recent mergers change the landscape of natural gas pipeline ownership.
On September 6, Enbridge Inc., announced its purchase of Spectra Energy Corp. Enbridge currently operates 1,800 miles of large-diameter (24 inches or greater) natural gas pipelines in the United States. Before its acquisition of Spectra Energy, Enbridge was the 15th-largest holder of large-diameter U.S. natural gas pipeline miles (including co-owned pipeline), and Spectra ranked fourth in the nation with nearly 9,800 miles. Their newly combined pipeline holdings are still the fourth-largest overall.
Nearly 82% of large-diameter pipeline miles and 62% of all pipeline miles in the United States are owned by 10 companies. Kinder Morgan Inc., with 32,000 miles of large-diameter pipeline, has more than double the mileage of TransCanada Corporation, which acquired Columbia Pipeline Group in July 2015. The merger of Energy Transfer Equity LP (third-largest holder) and Williams Companies, Inc. (fifth-largest holder) that was recently canceled would have resulted in a large natural gas pipeline conglomerate ranked second to Kinder Morgan, which owns about 19% of all U.S. pipeline.
Most of the top-10 companies, which includes some large regional players, are common carrier pipelines regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The top five companies have national or international scale operations.