TransCanada announced in January it would seek US$15 billion
Montreal - AFP
TransCanada, the Canadian pipeline builder behind the failed Keystone XL project, is in talks to buy US rival Columbia Pipeline in a deal valued at more than US$10 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Citing unnamed sources close to the negotiations, the newspaper said an agreement could be reached within weeks.
People cited in the news story, however, also cautioned that the talks could still break down.
TransCanada declined to comment on the report. A spokesman told AFP, "TransCanada remains focused on opportunities that would be in line with our strategy and grow shareholder value."
Columbia Pipeline's share price, meanwhile, jumped more than 15 percent in morning trading in New York to US$22.85.
Based in Texas, Columbia Pipeline operates 24,000 kilometers of pipelines from the US Gulf Coast to the country's northeast.
TransCanada announced in January it would seek US$15 billion from the American government for blocking construction of its Keystone XL pipeline that would have connected Canada's landlocked oil sands to US Gulf Coast refineries.
The Obama administration decided in October to deny the Canadian company a permit to construct a key section of the pipeline across the US-Canada border, ruling it would harm the fight against climate change.
TransCanada said in its complaint that a seven-year delay and ultimate decision to deny a permit were "politically driven."
Since the rejection, the company has focused on building a new pan-Canadian pipeline to the Atlantic coast.
But it is also facing opposition from environmental activists and the Quebec government.