Spectra Energy Partners (NYSE:SEP) has a pretty big appetite for growth right now. With more than $3 billion in gas transmission projects slated to come online between now and 2016, it's positioning itself to be one of the dominant players in a natural gas boom in the Northeast, thanks to the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. Thing is, that growth doesn't just happen and, for a Master Limited Partnership like Spectra, it needs to do most of it either through debt, or equity. So how will it pay for it?

Based on the company's financial standing -- especially compared to competitors ONEOK Partners (NYSE:OKS) and Williams Partners (NYSE:WPZ)-- and the guidelines for Spectra to keep its investment grade credit rating, it might not need to rely on shareholders as much as you might think. Find out how Spectra Energy Partners' financial position provides it with lots of options by tuning into the video below.

Do you know this energy tax "loophole"?
You already know record oil and natural gas production is changing the lives of millions of Americans. But what you probably haven't heard is that the IRS is encouraging investors to support our growing energy renaissance, offering you a tax loophole to invest in some of America's greatest energy companies. Take advantage of this profitable opportunity by grabbing your brand-new special report, "The IRS Is Daring You to Make This Investment Now!," and you'll learn about the simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule. Don't miss out on advice that could help you cut taxes for decades to come. Click here to learn more.

Tyler Crowe has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him at Fool.com under the handle TMFDirtyBird, on Google+, or on Twitter @TylerCroweFool.

The Motley Fool recommends Oneok Partners. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.