Our ability to realize the tremendous benefits of natural gas comes to us through scientific and technological innovation. Today, with advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, natural gas producers are able to
access supply reserves from unconventional shale and tight sands formations which had previously been difficult
and prohibitively costly to access.
Conservative estimates now point to 100-plus years of natural gas supply in North America. As a result, demand
is on the rise, requiring an investment in natural gas facility expansions that could total more than $200 billion
by 2030. That investment will support an average of 103,000 jobs per year through 2035, which, in turn, will
generate more than $170 billion in labor income.
The growing abundance of accessible, economically viable natural gas is a key contributor to another important
North American quest – domestic energy security. The United States is the closest it has been in nearly 20 years
to achieving energy self-sufficiency, increasing the proportion of demand met by domestic sources over the last six years to an estimated 81 percent in 2011. Using domestic natural gas to replace energy imports limits our exposure to geopolitical risk and volatility.
However, natural gas’ significant opportunities are accompanied by challenges. There are some who are concerned that modern production techniques could harm the environment and endanger public health.
Regrettably, several recent high-profile incidents have further elevated concerns about natural gas exploration
Our industry must continue its long record of responsible resource development – and find ways to instill and improve best practices, learn from one another and be open and forthright in our interactions with stakeholders,
regulators and the communities in which we operate. We must bolster public trust by involving all stakeholders in
the development process and by responsibly producing new natural gas resources. We must work with legislators
and regulators in support of productive policy approaches that enable energy solutions. And we must operate our
existing assets and build new infrastructure to the highest safety, environmental and operational standards.
While serious transmission pipeline incidents involving the public are declining, even one is unacceptable. Therefore, industry organizations, such as the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (ING AA) and the
Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) are collaborating with government, industry and other stakeholders
to further improve pipeline safety. The industry also is working successfully with legislators and regulators to
implement policy solutions that benefit all stakeholders.
Spectra Energy respects each stakeholder’s opinion and strives to turn stakeholder concerns – when they arise –
into understanding. We work closely with our customers and local communities as we develop projects. Before we
begin any substantive work on a project, we identify and reach out to stakeholders who may be affected by the
project’s activities. Engaging municipalities, emergency responders, community agencies and others provides us
with a greater understanding of our local communities’ issues and expectations. The Community Advisory Group
that teamed with us while we developed the Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Processing Plant exemplifies our
commitment to collaboration with our neighbors.
Stakeholder concerns are important to us, even when they extend beyond the parameters of our business. We recognize that some of our stakeholders have questions about unconventional gas development and the innovative uses of existing technologies – including hydraulic fracturing and horizontal directional drilling.
While Spectra Energy is not a natural gas producer, safe and environmentally responsible development of North
American natural gas is nevertheless critical to our business. Public concerns around resource development
must be addressed thoughtfully and openly. We support greater disclosure and reinforced drilling practices, both
voluntarily and through strengthened state regulations that reflect local geologic and hydrologic characteristics.
The natural gas industry has made tremendous strides on the technology front, not only in the affordable development of significant natural gas reserves, but also in increased efficiency, advances in the deployment of
infrastructure, and notable gains in reducing emissions and the overall environmental impact of our operations.
We are confident that technological advances will continue to serve our public well.
At Spectra Energy, safety is our top priority – from the protection of employees and contractors to the operation
of our pipelines. Our safe and reliable operations are supported by an approximate $700 million annual investment in pipeline asset integrity, maintenance and system reliability programs. We work closely with local, state, provincial and federal agencies to ensure our facilities meet or exceed regulatory requirements for pipeline
safety. We also maintain a highly skilled workforce that receives ongoing safety and emergency response training.
Our commitment to safety extends beyond our company to our safety leadership in industry groups such as
INGAA and CEPA. In May 2012, Doug Bloom, president of our Western Canada operations, will assume the role of Chairman for CEPA. From October 2011 to September 2012, Spectra Energy’s president and CEO, Greg Ebel, is
serving as chairman of INGAA. All members of INGAA are committed to a safety culture in which every person
in each pipeline company shares the goal of zero safety incidents. Also, our vice president of asset integrity is
leading ING AA’s Integrity Management Continuous Improvement efforts.
As we look forward to the increasingly essential role that natural gas will play in North America’s energy future,
Spectra Energy is focused on leading our industry in safety and reliability, customer responsiveness and profitability. We plan to invest $15 billion in new infrastructure by the end of the decade and to continue providing leadership on key policy issues. And we are committed to being a good neighbor for our communities.