Spectra Energy Partners' CEO Hosts Annual Shareholder Meeting (Transcript)

Apr.15.14 | About: Spectra Energy (SEP)

Spectra Energy Partners LP (NYSE:SEP)

Annual Shareholder Meeting Conference Call

April 15, 2014 11:00 AM ET


Julie Dill - Chief Communications Officer

Bill Esrey - Chairman

Greg Ebel - President and CEO

Patricia Rice - Secretary

Brianna Murphy - VP, Trillium Asset Management

Jennifer Flynn - Account Executive, Broadridge Financial Solutions


Julie Dill

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Julie Dill and I am the Chief Communications Officer for Spectra Energy. I’d like to welcome you all to our 2014 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. We are webcasting this meeting, so I also welcome those of you who are joining us online.

First, as safety is an integral part of everything we do here at Spectra Energy, I’d like to tell you what you should do in the unlikely event of an emergency. The primary exits from this auditorium are the doors to your right and left. Please exit through these doors, proceed to the left, exit either the front or back entrances and gather across from the front entrance or in the surface parking lot to the left of the rear entrance. If anyone should need assistance in evacuating, security and safety personnel are on hand to assist you as required. If it is necessary to leave, please do not re-enter the building unless and until security notifies you that it’s safe to do so. In the interest of all, I’ll ask you to please silence any electronic devices you may have brought with you into the auditorium.

On your chair you have a program that includes a copy of the meeting agenda and the meeting procedures. So let me quickly review this morning’s agenda. Bill Esrey, will call the meeting to order, give brief opening remarks and will then turn the proceedings over to Greg Ebel, our President and CEO. After taking care of various procedural matters, Greg will introduce the current members of and nominees for election to choose Spectra Energy's Board of Directors, our senior management, and our independent accountants, and transfer agents. We’ll then move on to the matters subject to the shareholder vote, each of which is described in the proxy statement, followed by a vote on each of these proposals. After the polls are closed, and the votes are being tabulated, Greg will update you on our recent progress as a Company and our plans for the future. Finally, we will announce the voting results and adjourn the meeting. We will then take your questions.

Now before we begin, I'd like to remind you that some of the matters we will discuss in today’s meeting concerning future Company performance will be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Laws. Actual results may materially differ from those discussed in these forward-looking statements, and you should refer to the additional information contained in Spectra Energy's 2013 Form 10-K and other SEC filings concerning factors that could cause those results to be different than contemplated in today's discussion.

In addition, today's discussion includes certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined under SEC regulation C. A reconciliation of those matters to the most directly comparable GAAP measures is available on our Investor Relations website at spectraenergy.com.

Now it is my distinct pleasure to introduce our Chairman of the Board since 2009, Mr. Bill Esrey.

Bill Esrey

Thanks, Julie and good morning. It’s my privilege to call to order our Eighth Annual Meeting of Shareholders and welcome all of you to this 2014 Annual Meeting.

As you will hear from Greg shortly, 2013 was an exceptionally good year for your Company. Shareholders benefited from the year’s strong momentum, and as a result, the Board was pleased to authorize a $0.10 increase in Spectra Energy’s annual dividend last year, bringing it to its current annualized level of $1.34 per share. Consistent with that, this morning, we declared a quarterly cash dividend on common stock of $0.335 per share payable June 10th to shareholders of record on the close of business May 9, 2014.

We’re proud that Spectra Energy delivered a robust total shareholder return of 35% last year, which exceeded both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average’s returns for 2013. Last year’s financial and operational results are indeed impressive. But they are only part of the 2013 story. More impressive from my perspective is the work that your Company continues to do, prepare for a long-term sustainable success. The high point of the year is optimizing our master limited partnership structure, expanding into the attractive crude oil and liquids segments, gaining scale and scope across the enterprise, exemplifying the long-term focus and decisive decisions of a Company with tremendous staying power.

I am consistently impressed with the thoughtful moves the Company makes to succeed beyond a single quarter or a single year. Spectra Energy takes a long-term view at the future and is dedicated to serving the long-term interest of you, our investors. We do that by assessing the external macro-fundamentals affecting the business, evaluating both opportunities and risks, preserving the core business and expanding strategically. That’s what I look for in weighing my own investment opportunities and I suspect many of you do that as well.

Spectra Energy is a high performing Company, and one of that conducts its business to the highest standards of governance and accountability. Our governance principles by the strong framework and the Board is intently focused on issues important to you, which is independent Board oversight, an executive performance and compensation, the focus on leadership development, strategy, execution, and effective risk management. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Chairman these past five years and as a Director of Spectra Energy and its predecessor company for nearly three decades. I couldn’t be more proud of the Company, from the directors that I’m grateful to serve alongside to Greg and his leadership team and to the employees who worked diligently to deliver the energy and the progress and the positive change in communities across North America.

And I’m especially pleased to announce Board of Directors has selected Greg to succeed me as Chairman. Greg is an outstanding leader who has a broad and deep understanding of the energy industry. I have great confidence in Greg, his leadership, and look forward to the Company’s continued growth under his chairmanship. That confidence makes my retiring from this Board easier, but bittersweet nevertheless, I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this wonderful Company and appreciate your trust and your engagement. Thank you for granting me this tremendous opportunity to serve.

Now let us proceed with the business of the meeting and hear from Chairman, President, and CEO Greg Ebel.

Greg Ebel

Well, good morning, and thank you very much, Bill. I am very honored to follow in your footsteps once again, a point that I’ll come back to in a little bit, but first to the business at hand. The Board of Directors has appointed Jennifer Flynn Account Executive at Broadridge Financial Solutions, our proxy tabulator and Mae Dell Carpenter, Spectra Energy’s Manager of Shareholder Services to act as Inspectors of Election for this meeting. Jennifer and Mae Dell can I ask you to stand to be recognized. Thanks. Our Corporate Secretary, Trish Rice is acting as Secretary of this meeting and will now report the number of shares of stock entitled to vote and the number of shares and votes represented by proxy at this meeting.

Patricia Rice

As of first on February 18, 2014, Spectra Energy had outstanding entitled to vote, 670,209,274 shares of common stock each of which is entitled to one vote, there are here represented by proxy 556,251,938 shares of the Company’s common stock or 83% of the total votes entitled to vote. Final reports of the Inspectors of Election will include the votes of the shareholders present and voting in person.

Greg Ebel

Thank you Trish, legal notice of this meeting has been duly given. A quorum is present and the meeting is now lawfully convened for the purpose of the inspecting business hence [indiscernible]. I now have the pleasure of introducing current members of 10 nominees for election to Spectra Energy’s Board of Directors, as they introduce each I’ll ask them to stand and be recognized.

Austin Adams, Retired Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of JP Morgan Chase; Joe Alverado, Chairman, President, and CEO of Commercial Metals Inc.; Pamela Carter, President of Cummins Distribution Business; Clarence Cazalot Jr., Retired Chairman of Marathon Oil Corporation; Tony Comper, Retired President and CEO of BMO Financial Group; Peter Hamilton, Retired Senior Vice President and CFO of Brunswick Corporation; Mike McShane, Former Chairman, President, and CEO of Grant Prideco, Inc.; Michael Morris, Retired Chairman, President, and CEO of American Electric Power; and Mike Phelps, the Chairman of Dornoch Capital Inc., and Former Chairman and CEO of West Coast Energy.

Also seated in the auditorium today are the members of Spectra Energy’s Management team, Dorothy Ables, John Arensdorf, Steve Baker, Doug Bloom, Julie Dill, Mark Fiedorek, Alan Harris, Reggie Hedgebeth, Pat Reddy, Billy Yardley, and Guy Buckley. I would like to introduce Tim Foley as our Director of Security, is also serving as our [indiscernible]. And finally I’d like you to meet Olive Clark and Earl Stone of Deloitte & Touche LLP, the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm.

We’ll now proceed with the business of the meeting. The first item of business is to elect your Board of Directors, each of the individuals that I have just introduced have been duly nominated for election to the Board with their term of office expiring at our 2015 meeting, and the proxy statement describes these nominees each is hereby considered mentis for the purpose of voting for their election as directors. The second item of business is to ratify the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLC as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year 2014, the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLC is also discussed in our proxy statement.

The third item of business is the approval of an advisory resolution to approve the compensation for our named executive officers. This proposal is also discussed in the proxy statement and reflects our shareholders’ preference at an advisory vote on executive compensation held in. Fourth, the Nathan Cummings Foundation has submitted a shareholder proposal for disclosure of political contributions as set forth on Page 56 of the proxy statement. The foundation was unable to attend the meeting today but on behalf of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Brianna Murphy will present the proposed resolution, supports our position to this -- statement to this proposal set forth on Page 57 of the proxy statement.

Fifth, Trillium Asset Management has submitted a shareholder proposal for a methane emissions target as set forth on Page 58 of the proxy statement. Trillium’s representative, Ms. Murphy, will present the proposed resolution, so Ms. Murphy if you would stand to the mic and make the presentation. Thank you.

Brianna Murphy

Good morning, my name is Brianna Murphy. I am here to move proposal number four on behalf of the Nathan Cummings Foundation and Rockefeller & Company. The proposal seeks to establish greater accountability and transparency in our Company’s political spending. The sponsors of this proposal, together with numerous institutional investors, consider disclosure of corporate political spending to be an important corporate and governance best practice. Public attention and scrutiny of corporate political contributions has reached a new level of intensity in this country. A recent article in the conference order [indiscernible] dark money and the possibility that companies may be vulnerable to pressure from groups seeking such funds.

We believe the companies are now engaging in the political process in a new and risky environment. A recent survey of business executives supports this idea. According to a 2013 poll by the committee for economic development about 85% of business executives believe the campaign finance system is in poor shape or broken. And 90% supported reforms such as those all individuals, corporates and labor contributions to political organizations. Disclosures is an important component of any attempt to adjust these issues. The Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has supported this idea and has obtained a final decision on the citizens united case. Through disclosures he said shareholders can determine whether their corporation’s political siege advances the corporations interest in making process and citizens can see whether elected officials are in the process of so called money interest.

We acknowledge Spectra has a political contribution policy on its Website, but it’s insufficient because it discloses only some of the trade associations in which Spectra is active and does not provide information on the portion of any payments that may be used for political activity. In addition it provides no details on the amount of individual contributions made with the shareholders’ money. As of January 2014, more than half of the S&P 100 have adopted disclosures of their political spending and implemented Board oversight. These companies include Merck, UPS, Aflock and Microsoft. Through our proposals we’re asking Spectra to join these leading companies and disclose all this corporate political spending so the shareholders and our Board can appropriately evaluate and mitigate any risks associated with such spending. Thank you.

Greg Ebel

And proposal number five.

Brianna Murphy

Good morning Mr. Chairman and members of the Board and fellow shareholders. My name is Brianna Murphy I am Vice President of Trillium Asset Management. I am here representing Trillium clients and hereby move to proposal number five which focuses on methane emissions management. To begin I think it is worth noting, I think it is worth highlighting that the proponents of management agree on two important and basic points, methane emissions needs to be reduced and there is financial benefits for the Company to reduce these methane emissions. Where we disagree is whether the Company should start reduction targets.

We believe it is a basic principle of business management but setting targets is critical to business success. Setting targets allows progress to be monitored and success to be measured. Specific targets won’t show that everyone at the Company clearly understands they are working towards and provide sound guidance for the decisions management must make. Specific targets will provide knowledge and contacts, multitude of operational decisions that management must make and that should lead to better decision making. It is also worth pointing out that in light of the Obama Administration’s recently announced climate action plan strategy to reduce methane emissions it appeared increasingly likely that Spectra will be facing new regulations on its disclosure and operations related to methane emissions.

In addition there is compelling evidence that Spectra can reduce methane emissions and increase returns at the same time. This evidence comes from a report produced with the help of Anadarko Petroleum C3 Group, Pioneer Natural Resources, Solfex Energy and the American Gas Association. This report produced by ICF and the environmental defense fund entitled economic analysis of methane emissions reduction opportunities on the U.S. onshore oil and natural gas industries. It provides a detailed analysis of technologies that can be implemented today for new and existing infrastructure that will result in both quantifiable cost savings and reductions in methane emissions.

The merits of target setting is further bolstered by the EPA’s recently announced enhancements for the natural gas star program which will be called Gas Star Gold and will award facilities gold status when they implement reduction protocols and strategies, clearly companies are being provided with roadmaps to achieve emissions reductions in a cost effective manner and thereby increase profits. What is needed is a target to drive improvement. While we understand that the company is committed to continue its improvements on methane emissions this is not a substitute for an actual reduction target.

Of course, Spectra is no stranger to setting specific targets for itself for example its most recent sustainability report contained a goal of zero employee and contractor injuries and vehicle incidents. In short, we believe it is simply good business and good environments of stewardship for Spectra to set reduction targets for methane emissions resulting from all operations under the Company’s financial and operational control. Setting this target is not only feasible but it should help drive sound management processes for achieving this target. By doing so the Company should see financial benefits as well as environmental benefits and reduce reputational risk.

In closing I would like to take this opportunity to not only urge shareholder support for this proposal but invite the company’s directors to meet with us and further discuss the supporting issue. Thank you for your time and.

Greg Ebel

Thank you Ms. Murphy for being here and presenting those. The Board’s response to both of these proposals is set forth on Page 57 and 59 of the proxy statement and now we can turn Ms. Flynn for the voting.

Jennifer Flynn

Yes, Mr. Chairman, shareholders the polls are now open. If you wish to vote by ballet please raise your hands, when you have completed your ballets please raise your hand again, so we can collect it. Does anyone need a ballet in order to vote in person at the meeting? Seen that there are no hands raised, Mr. Chairman the polls are now closed.

Greg Ebel

Thanks, Jennifer. Before I speak to you about and I am going to tabulate the results but before I speak to you about what the Company has accomplished this past year and where we are headed, I feel it’s very important and I am delighted to take a moment to acknowledge Bill Esrey for his valued counseling leadership and dedicated service to Spectra Energy both the current Company, its predecessors and to you our shareholders. Bill has chaired our Board for the last five years, served as a Director of the Board of our current and predecessor companies for over 29 years and he is retiring this year. And while we will miss his wisdom and his guidance, we certainly wish him well in his future and I know I have very large shoes to fill. There are only a very few people like Bill who over the last 30 or 40 years have done so much for the businesses that they have led, the communities that they have served, the shareholders that they have represented and I can tell you the management team that they have guided. It is a great honor to have worked so closely with you Bill. So, thank you very much.

Dennis Hendrix who is also here and who is likewise served our company for 29 years plus is also retiring from the Board this year. Dennis enjoyed a very long and distinguished career of service to Spectra Energy and the predecessor Company as both the director and an executive with Texas Eastern and Energy. Much of what Spectra Energy is today is the result of Dennis’s time at the helm and he did a great job of setting that course and we are deeply grateful both to Dennis and to Bill for the contribution to the Company.

Fortunately, there is a very deep bench of talent on your Board of Directors, among them Tony Comper and Tony has agreed to serve as the Independent Lead Director for the Board going forward. Tony is an established business leader with a great record over three decades of experience in the banking, finance and the international business world. With the dynamic and experienced executive who understands the importance not only of corporate governance but also just overall directions of Company’s things right way if you will. So, I know you will be an excellent lead director for all of us going forward.

I’d like to also recognize two longstanding and long serving executives who have announced their intention to retire this year. John Arensdorf and Alan Harris are both here today and John and Alan have done everything that the Company has asked them to do during their careers but more importantly they done it with energy, they done it with integrity, good spirits and most importantly with exceptional results now they have and continue to provide great advise, great counsel to myself and the rest of the management team and I will miss them very much.

Lastly I wish to thank our shareholders who are both here today but those who are also joining us via the Web, we appreciate your confidence in it, your investments in Spectra Energy and your active interest in our performance and our future plans. As Bill said, 2013 was a great year for Spectra Energy, a productive, transformative year for us. We focused as always on being North America’s Company of choice in the pipeline and midstream sector but also equally important of being the investment of choice for you, our shareholder.

For the year we delivered ongoing earnings of a $1.64 per share or $1.1 billion in ongoing earnings, representing almost a 15% increase over the previous years. Those numbers are important and they represent growth and long-term stability but there are other numbers that are equally meaningful and really positioned your Company for a long-term growth and continued success.

We placed $6 billion of capital into service during the year 2013 for both the expansion of our existing asset footprint and strategic acquisition. A record achievement for Spectra Energy during the year, notably among those was the New Jersey and New York pipeline which brings new natural gas supplies to New Jersey and to New York City markets for the first time on four years. The addition of 350 million cubic feet per day of gas passed in Western Canada and the Sand Hills and Southern Hills natural gas liquids pipeline that provide vital transportation to markets that so desperately need the product.

We entered the crude oil sector in 2013 with our acquisition of the express pipeline system, but one of only three major pipeline using crude from Western Canada through refineries in markets in the U.S. Rookies and in the Midwest really. Just a year after of completion of this transaction our crude pipelines are operating at or near capacity and expect -- and we expect to increase their financial contributions for the company through earning by about 70% over the quarter.

We secured $7 billion of new projects on your behalf last year, we were pleased to be selected by Florida Power & Light to build and operate stable trail a new 500 mile interstate pipeline that would deliver critically needed natural gas to Florida. We have gone through in incremental market project or AIM as we like to call it will increase the west-to-east capacity of our gone from site system and it’s fully subscribe of virtually all delinquent local and strategic companies.

We’re executing on five projects which will allow for five directional flows on our Texas Eastern system. The Kingsport expansion on our East Tennessee system will serve the growing needs of Eastern chemical facilities. In Ontario, we’re expanding our Don Parkway Transmission and storage systems, provide customer access to cost effective reliable and new supplies [indiscernible] Canadian part.

Another noteworthy number is the $20 billion enterprise value of our reconfigured Spectra Energy Partners. Now one of the largest Master Limited partnerships in the United States, given the tremendous opportunities on our horizon we brought down substantially all of our U.S. transmission storage, trans liquids and into Spectra Energies late last year. Giving us the scale and the financial flexibility to execute on our gross projects and pursue new opportunity. All while delivering accelerated dividends and distributions both for SE and SEP investors.

When we met last year I shared our commitment to achieve $25 billion in expansion capital by the end of the decade. Today, we believe that number is close to $35 billion. In fact, thanks to the focus of our strong execution teams. We are well on our way and we’ve identified a slate of new growth opportunities. The opportunities ahead stand all of our business segments and are aimed at responding to the demand growth coming from increasing power generation teams. Infrastructure required to support the export by uplift by natural gas LNG and industrial and petrochemical expansion here at home.

At Spectra Energy we approach our role in gathering, processing, transporting and storing energy with the gravity it deserves. We are dedicated to acting responsibly, safely and in a sustainable manner, from the earliest sighting and outreach work for new projects through the complete project execution cycle. We are proud of the fact that our stakeholder engagement process is viewed as an industry model by peer companies and by regulators. Our sustainability performance is likewise well and repeatedly recognized by important benchmark organizations like the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, and the CDP Indices, Ethisphere’s Annual List of the World’s Most Ethical Companies and CR Magazine’s 100 Best Corporate Citizens list.

We also contribute to the vibrancy in North America of the communities through our human energy and our long tradition of volunteerism and philanthropic giving. Our annual Helping Hands in Action [initially] [ph] a month long concentrated period of volunteerism is underway right now. Employees across our service area are leading efforts like greenway clean ups, food drives and school improvement projects. They’re making a difference in building a brighter future through their hard work and generous spirit.

I began my remarks by thanking two longstanding directors. I want to close by welcoming a new member of Board, Clarence Cazalot. Clarence is the retired Chairman and President and CEO of Marathon Oil Corporation. Has a wealth of industry knowledge and perspective that will benefit our Company and our shareholders for a very long time. Joins a deeply committed Board that champions your interest and advances our business everyday and every time we meet.

Spectra Energy has been through a great amount of change over the course of its relatively young history. We have doubled the enterprise value of your Company in just the last five years and we expect to double again over the next half decade by applying the same results and commitment to delivering investor value.

We’ve greatly expanded our enviable footprint across North America, entering new lines of business, creating a leading master limited partnership and rewarding investors with attractive returns and dividends. We view change as positive, a motivating force for us. We’re also inspired by the constant value of stewardship, of integrity, respect, safety, high performance, belief in win-win relationships and of course, initiatives.

The other constant that drives our actions and [position] [ph] [abiding] [ph] commitment to enduring value creation on your behalf. I hope that you’ve heard today and observed our performance over the last year and going forward and that gives you confidence in our ability to continue to deliver strong results, sustainable results and value. Thank you very much for your investment and being such valued partners in our past and I hope our future. Thank you very much.

We will now have the results for voting Trish.

Patricia Rice

Mr. Chairman based on the proxies received prior to this meeting and the number of shares voted at the meeting today, each nominee for election of director has received the required affirmative votes of shareholders’ decision for his or her election [inaudible] ratification of the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal year 2014 has received the required affirmative vote of shareholders. The compensation for named executive officers as described in the proxy has been approved by the shareholders by more than a majority of the votes cast. Although this last proposal is not binding on Spectra Energy, the Board will continue to take the recommendations of your shareholders into account as we periodically evaluate our executive compensation program. In addition, neither of the shareholders proposal for a political contribution nor the proposal for a [fugitive emissions] [ph] target received the majority of the votes.

Greg Ebel

Thanks, Trish. Based on those results, all nominees have been elected by shareholders to serve as Directors of Spectra Energy Corporation. The selection of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal year 2014 has been duly ratified and the advisory resolution [indiscernible] has been approved by the shareholders. Neither the shareholder proposal for political contributions nor the proposals for [fugitive emissions] [ph] target received their required affirmative vote of shareholders [inaudible]. I hereby request that the final report of the inspectors of the election be filed with the minutes of this meeting. I want to thank everybody for attending the meeting today and the formal portion of this meeting is hereby adjourned, but I would like to open this up for any questions or answers that may exist.

If you are a shareholder and you have a question, please raise your hand and wait for a microphone to be brought to you. We also have microphones in conference rooms B and C for any questions and after you have been recognized, I would ask that you please state your name and speak clearly into the microphone so that everyone can hear your question including those listening by webcast. If it’s necessary for you to -- it is necessary to limit your time at the microphone no more than three minutes to give others the opportunity. Are there any questions?

Question-and-Answer Session

Bill Esrey

We do have a question in B and C.

Unidentified Participant

Good morning. My name is [Freddy Council] [ph]. And I am from…

Bill Esrey

Sorry Freddy, we’ve lost the sound again.

Unidentified Participant

Okay, has it been restored?

Bill Esrey

Yes, sir.

Unidentified Participant

Regarding proposition number four and I vote against, but I suggest that it apply to all United States exchange listed companies, it’s a fine proposition but it would put our Company on an uneven playing field singling out our Company and as the proposition number five again to single out our Company I vote against, but it is an excellent suggestion that might apply again to all United States exchange traded stocks and the risk management committee would evaluate in where it’s a matter it might not apply, so that all stocks evaluated on an even playing field. And for Mr. Esrey we wish him well done and good health on retirement.

Mr. Hendrix, the same and I note that the archive or the Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company where I had been a shareholder for many years, the archive now with Woodson Research Center Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 1927 to 1997. [Indiscernible] I’d like to encourage that this company is in the archive of Spectra have an item and that is the pipeline from under the Hudson River from New Jersey to Manhattan. And I suggest the documents include that [later on] [ph] issue there and again I do appreciate that the predecessor Panhandle Eastern Pipeline archive is secured, making a suggestion on our old archive. Well, I do thank you very much for the time and everybody else and the auditorium is overflowing. Thank you, again.

Bill Esrey

Thank you, Freddy. On your first two comments take that under advisement as you know we do disclose the total amount of contributions from a political perspective which is approximately $250,000 for the year, and obviously if there was a new rule and regulation and requirement by law Spectra Energy as it does with all would fully follow those. With respect to the methane, I think you make a good point in many respect summarize our opposition to the particular proposal that an individual target outside an overall industry target or even larger target wouldn’t make much sense and put us on a lower - level playing field.

I would say though the number one way to lower methane would be to find faster approval for natural gas pipeline since many of you know one of the largest methane emission element is flaring and if more infrastructure could be placed in this country not only would we benefit from getting low price natural gas but also that would reduce methane. We’re obviously working very diligently on that front with the various regulatory bodies and planning bodies to be able to do that as well. And on your last point absolutely, I’ll look into the archive situation, but it is definitely a historic issue to have a new gas pipeline into New Jersey and New York. So, thank you for your time. I believe we have a question in here as well.

John Bair - Ascend Wealth Advisors

Good morning, my name is John Bair I’m President of Ascend Wealth Advisors out of the Cleveland, Ohio area. Former resident here in Houston, a long time shareholder of Spectra and commend you on your progress and very much over the last number of years. My question for you is do you see any opportunity with the changing political environment in Mexico and the proposals to allow foreign investment to come in and wondering if you have any thoughts on that and if you could share those with us? Thank you very much.

Bill Esrey

Well, thank you John. In fact we’re doing - when we’re done this meeting we’ll go back and reconvene the regular Board of Directors meeting and that will be one of the macro-issues we’ll talk, opportunities in Mexico. Billy Yardley who is here today who runs our U.S. Transmission Business and Business Development, he has been to Mexico recently. We’re looking at those opportunities. I think it’s little bit early days in terms of will the reforms on an energy perspective actually weigh out and provide a best risk return basis versus investment here in the United States and Canada, definitely something that we’ll look at. As you know Texas Eastern goes right up to the border in fact we have a compressor station just on the other side of the border, but that’s something that we’ll be looking at very closely and the opportunity is there to invest and we see a good return and political risk weighting, that’s something I’d very much like to see us pursue. Thank you for your question.

Are there any other questions?

Well hearing none, again thank you very much for your being here today and your confidence and commitment and we will endeavor to keep delivering on your behalf. Thank you.

Copyright policy: All transcripts on this site are the copyright of Seeking Alpha. However, we view them as an important resource for bloggers and journalists, and are excited to contribute to the democratization of financial information on the Internet. (Until now investors have had to pay thousands of dollars in subscription fees for transcripts.) So our reproduction policy is as follows: You may quote up to 400 words of any transcript on the condition that you attribute the transcript to Seeking Alpha and either link to the original transcript or to www.SeekingAlpha.com. All other use is prohibited.


If you have any additional questions about our online transcripts, please contact us at: transcripts@seekingalpha.com. Thank you!