Enbridge Inc. announced Wednesday that hundreds of its employees have lost their jobs as the Calgary-based firm moves to cut 5 per cent of its workforce.
One month after the oil pipeline giant announced a $37-billion deal to buy Houston-based Spectra Energy Corp. to create North America’s largest energy infrastructure firm, an Enbridge spokeswoman said the company will reduce its work force by approximately 5 per cent across the organization.
About 530 positions are affected – including 370 in Canada and 160 in the U.S.
However, spokeswoman Suzanne Wilton said the work force reductions are part of an organizational review launched earlier this year, and are “not related to the Spectra combination.”
“Enbridge launched the organizational review in the first quarter of 2016. It is focused on what we need to do to achieve our strategy of growth and diversification, enhance our competitiveness, and allow us to capitalize on opportunities now and into the future,” Ms. Wilton said in an e-mail.
“Throughout this process, Enbridge is committed to treating people fairly and with respect. We are providing support to those leaving the company, as well as those who remain.”
Enbridge employs about 11,000 people, primarily in Canada and the U.S. This is not the first recent round of cuts for the company. In November, 2015, the company announced a 5-per-cent cut of its work force – also representing about 500 full-time jobs and 100 unfilled positions.
Even though the midstream company is not directly exposed to the effects of lower crude prices, Enbridge – the largest transporter of Canadian crude to domestic and U.S. markets – has said it is “not immune” to the commodity price downturn.
In recent years, pipeline companies have also faced strong public and political backlash to new projects as environmental and First Nation concerns play an increasingly important role in North American infrastructure development. The scrutiny has meant more stringent regulatory constraints, resulting in delays and uncertainty over some major pipeline projects.