The Kentucky Public Service Commission has approved an $8.1 million rate hike for the natural gas distribution service of Cinergy Corp. subsidiary Union Light, Heat and Power Co. (ULH&P). The base rate increase request covers investments of $123 million in improvements that ULH&P is making to its system, partially offset by reduced maintenance expenses because the improvements in the gas distribution system will lower the number of leak repairs. ULH&P, which serves 92,000 natural gas customers in six Northern Kentucky counties, filed the rate request in February to continue to recover annual costs associated with the utility's accelerated main replacement program, initiated to improve the reliability and safety of the gas distribution system. ULH&P has replaced 110 miles of cast iron and bare steel pipe through 2005, or about 50% of the cast iron and bare steel mains in its system. ULH&P implemented the rate hike in October, pending commission approval. Typical residential customers will actually see their monthly bills in January reduced to $204.07 from $210.32, based on the approved gas cost adjustments for the month.
Swift Energy Co. is paying $5.75 million in cash to acquire additional interests in the South Bearhead Creek Field in Beauregard Parish, LA, with an effective date of Dec. 1. The purchase includes 6.4 Bcfe of proved reserves, which complement about 21 Bcfe of reserves Swift purchased for $24.3 million earlier in 4Q2005. South Bearhead Creek Field consists of 5,800 gross acres located 50 miles south of Swift's Masters Creek Field and 30 miles north of Lake Charles, LA.
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