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The Pat Daniel era ends at Enbridge

Sphere of Influence

Dec 4, 2012

by Alberta Venture Staff

When Patrick Daniel took over as president and CEO of Enbridge on January 1, 2001, the company’s shares were trading at $10.93 and it had just completed a year in which it earned $392 million on revenues of $3 billion (putting it 16th on the Venture 100 list that year). When he punched his card for the final time this past September 28, the price was $38.40 (and that’s with the stock having split twice) and the company had annual income of $1 billion on revenues of $19.4 billion, putting it fourth on the Venture 250 list. To put it mildly, it’s been a good decade for Enbridge, which is now Canada’s largest transporter of crude oil.

Daniel is now 66 and retires as one of the titans of the Alberta business scene, but his tenure has not ended on a high note. With the Northern Gateway pipeline bogged down in opposition and the 2010 spill in Michigan fresh in everyone’s mind (courtesy of the “Keystone Kops” comment made by U.S. National Transportation Safety Board chair Deborah Hersman), Daniel leaves at a difficult time. But even on his final day he’s still trying to get his message out. “Many Canadians don’t appreciate that we operate by far the biggest crude oil pipeline system in the world,” he says. “It is a mechanical operation and we have a spill rate that is about half the industry average. I don’t think Canadians realize how much we put into pipeline maintenance and inspection.”

Background Check

Daniel was born and raised in Entwistle, a small farming community 95 kilometres west of Edmonton. His father owned a hardware store and his mother was a schoolteacher. He graduated with degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia before beginning his career in the oil patch.

Gone Green

Enbridge has interests in close to 1,000 MW of renewable energy projects, including eight wind farms, four solar farms, a geothermal facility, four waste heat recovery facilities and a fuel cell.

The New Guy

“I don’t think we can stick our head in the sand and not pay attention to what is being said and read by the public,” says new president and CEO Al Monaco. Enbridge’s Northern Gateway critics, environmental activists, First Nations and scathing U.S. regulators may not be the company’s primary stakeholders,” he says, “but they are important stakeholders.”

Parting Comment

“Enbridge has been around for 160 years in the gas distribution business and 60-some years in the crude oil business. When you’re the biggest and recognized as the best in the world, I would hope that Canadians would be proud of that.”

Find the complete interview with Patrick Daniel at albertaventure.com/patdaniel

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