Enbridge cuts jobs in Houston and Canada

Calgary-based Enbridge on Wednesday eliminated 160 U.S. jobs, including about 45 in Houston, as part of the Canadian pipeline giant’s 5 percent workforce reduction overall.

The vast majority of the 530 jobs lost are in Canada, where 370 positions were cut, said Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes. Enbridge maintains its U.S. hub in Houston, where it will still employ about 600 people.

The cutbacks come as Enbridge is buying Houston-based Spectra Energy in a $28 billion deal to potentially create the largest oil and gas pipeline conglomerate in North America. The Spectra deal was announced in September and is expected to close early next year.

Barnes said layoffs are not related to the merger. The  organizational review that led to these job cuts actually  in early 2016.

Barnes said the decision 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.”

“Throughout this process, Enbridge is committed to treating people fairly and with respect,” Barnes added in a prepared statement.