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Nicor Inc. said Monday that the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) granted a motion last week filed by its gas distribution company, Nicor Gas, to adjust its base rates to recover $54.2 million, compared to the $48.8 million allowed under tariffs previously filed on Oct. 4. Because the order shifted certain revenues and credits between base rates and the purchase gas adjustment rider, the company estimates that the actual annual net revenue increase will be about $34.7 million under the newly revised tariffs, compared to $29.3 million under the previously filed tariffs.

Calgary-based Canadian Superior Energy Inc. said it began production at its coalbed methane project in its Drumheller core producing area in Alberta. The first 30 wells are producing from the Horseshoe Canyon area at an initial average rate of 100 Mcf/d per well. By year end, the company expects an additional 20 wells to be tied-in, for a total of 50 wells with an anticipated net production of 1.5 MMcf/d. Canadian Superior also said it has a new conventional gas discovery in the Drumheller area that tested at 4.4 MMcf/d. The well is expected to have stabilized production of 2 MMcf/d and the company is planning follow-up locations in the area. The company started the year producing about 2,730 boe/d and is currently producing 3,100 boe/d. It expects its production rate at the end of the year to be 3,450 boe/d, up 26% for the year. The National Energy Board recently predicted that coalbed methane drilling is expected to jump by nearly 60% to 5,400 wells in 2007 from 3,400 this year, resulting in sharply increasing gas from coal deliverability. Much of the coal-gas activity is expected to concentrated on the smallest but easiest target, a shallow and dry formation known as the Horseshoe Canyon that carpets much of Alberta in a broad geographic band between the province's political capital of Edmonton and the business capital of Calgary. Work will continue on a much bigger but wet, deeper and more environmentally difficult formation known as the Manville.

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