Harrie Vredenburg, with the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business, said there are strong opportunities for expansion between the combined forces.
But Enbridge has also been stymied from building projects like Northern Gateway to move oil to the West Coast because of regulatory uncertainty, a problem facing other pipeline operators in Canada and the United States.
"They're trying to grow and build their business and they've been frustrated because they've become a lightning rod for environmental opposition - climate change opposition to oil pipelines particularly - and they're looking for alternative growth strategies. They're not alone in doing this," he said.
"They've spent a fortune, getting nowhere with regulatory systems. At the same time, the oilsands growth has slowed somewhat … it may be time to shift their portfolio somewhat."
There's no doubt the deal is transformative, giving Enbridge more balance between its oil and natural gas businesses.
With the merger, Enbridge will become the fourth-largest company in Canada, with assets extending from Zama City in northern Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.