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Oneok Raises Natural Gas Rates in Two Texas Service Areas

Tulsa, OK-based Oneok Inc. announced that its Texas Gas Service division has received approval to implement new higher rates in two of its service areas. The company reported that the implementation will affect 56,500 customers and will increase annual revenues by $2.5 million. The new rates went into effect on April 28.

The first of the two areas consists of 11 cities between Abilene and Fort Worth, TX. The request was approved for $865,000, or a 4.2% increase, in revenue and includes an approved return on equity of 10.85%.

Texas Gas Service also received approval to increase rates in its service area in south Jefferson County, which includes the city of Port Arthur. The cities agreed to a $1.6 million increase in revenue, or 9%, and an approved return on equity of 11%.

"Settlements of these rate cases allow us to continue to make investments that deliver value to our customers," said Roger Mitchell, Texas Gas Service president. "In both service areas, we focused on restructuring our rates to increase the monthly demand-fee and lower the volumetric charges. In addition, the agreements reduce the impact of weather and provide mechanisms that improve the recovery of the fuel-related portion of bad debt. These rate structures are designed to produce more consistent earnings and cash flow."

Texas Gas Service also has a rate case pending approval in the Rio Grande Valley. Approval of the new rates followed negotiations and review by the local authorities.

Texas Gas Service provides natural gas service to 565,000 customers in Texas, including customers in Austin, El Paso, the Gulf Coast and the Rio Grande Valley.

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