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Industry Briefs

Industry Briefs

Southern Company Energy Marketing said it opened an energy marketing operation in Western Canada in conjunction with the signing of an arrangement to manage the business of Pan-Alberta Gas Ltd. The new marketing operation has about 60 employees, most of whom previously worked for Pan-Alberta. Southern Company Energy Marketing announced in January that it had agreed in principle to manage the assets of Pan-Alberta, Canada's second-largest exporter of natural gas. Southern has marketed about 7 Bcf/d, while Pan-Alberta has sold about 1.2 Bcf/d. Pan-Alberta is owned by more than 400 Western Canada natural gas producers and has nearly US$1.5 billion in sales annually. Its assets include long-term dedicated gas supply arrangements and more than 1.2 Bcf/d of pipeline transportation capacity.

Coastal Corp.'s Gulfstream Natural Gas System has sent a request for quotation (RFQ) to 10 pre-qualified contractors for installation of the offshore portion of its proposed 744-mile natural gas pipeline from Alabama across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida. The RFQ calls for offshore assembly and installation of more than 400 miles of 36-inch diameter pipe to serve Gulfstream's customers in Florida. The pipeline says it has 10 large, non-affiliated Florida utilities and power generation facilities signed to long-term commitments for the majority of its capacity. Gulfstream is one of two large under-the-Gulf pipelines proposed to serve the Florida Peninsula. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month issued preliminary approvals for both Gulfstream and Buccaneer pipelines, each of which proposes to carry about a Bcf/d into the state. The latter is sponsored by Williams and Duke Energy.

Dynegy Inc. has started commercial operation at the Calcasieu Generation Project, a 155 MW natural gas-fired power generation facility near Lake Charles, LA. Construction of the simple-cycle peaking facility took less than eight months, making it the first true merchant plant in the state of Louisiana and the second power plant developed by Dynegy under its $5 billion generation expansion program. Dynegy recently announced that it has signed a five-year power purchase agreement with Cleco Corp., a regional energy services company based in Pineville, LA, which will buy up to 310 MW of capacity and energy, most of it from the Calcasieu Project. Dynegy also recently said it is expanding the Calcasieu Project in order to meet the rapidly growing demands of the wholesale energy market throughout the state and region. The addition of a 165 MW natural gas-fired combustion turbine will be completed during the second quarter of 2001, bringing the power plant's total generating capacity to a nominal 320 MW.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Union Pacific Resources Group Inc. have scheduled special stockholders meetings for July 13 to vote on the pending merger of the two companies. Both companies have declared a record date of May 30, 2000, in connection with the special stockholders meetings. The Anadarko meeting will be held at 2:00 p.m. (CDT) at the Wyndham Hotel Greenspoint in Houston. The UPR meeting will be held at 10:00 a.m. (CDT) at The Fort Worth Club in Fort Worth. Joint proxy materials for the special meetings will be mailed to stockholders beginning this week.

DukeSolutions has signed a 20-year, multimillion-dollar contract with The Boeing Company to provide energy services at the Boeing Space & Communications facility in Huntington Beach, CA. DukeSolutions will complete a full modernization of the existing plant over the next 18 months, and then own, operate and maintain centralized plant assets and provide high-temperature hot water, steam and chilled water services to the facility. DukeSolutions' modernization plan will include upgrading the existing plant with a new, fully automated energy infrastructure while maintaining full delivery capabilities throughout the modernization period.

As part of a yearlong celebration and marketing campaign marking the installation of its 5 millionth meter, Southern California Gas is offering its customers a chance to win the use of a natural gas vehicle (NGV) and free fuel for 5 million meters (about 3,000 miles). Contestants can register to win use of a natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX, Toyota Camry or Ford F-150 at designated NGV dealers, by visiting www.socalgas.com or by calling 1 (800) 427-4400. Three winners will be announced in mid-August. "This promotion gives us the opportunity to expose consumers to the environmental benefits and cost-effectiveness of natural gas vehicles," said Rick Morrow, a SoCal Gas vice president. "Natural gas costs less and burns cleaner than gasoline, and natural gas vehicles require less maintenance than standard cars. As their popularity grows, the environment and our customers' pocketbooks will prosper as well." There are currently about 9,000 natural gas-powered vehicles on the road in California,

The National Energy Board has received two applications from ProGas Ltd., including an eight-year license to export a total of 4.2 Bcf of natural gas to a potato processing plant in Grand Forks, ND. The other application amends an existing natural gas export license. ProGas and RDO Foods Co. applied for an export license at Emerson, MB, to begin Nov. 1 that will supply gas for RDO's Grand Forks facility. Volumes would be about 1.4 MMcf/d. The second application amends an existing natural gas export license, extending the term from Nov. 1, 2000 to Oct. 31, 2008, and increasing the quantity of gas from 21.9 Bcf to 109.6 Bcf.

Commonwealth Edison announced a voluntary pilot program that will automatically pay its customers if it fails to live up to its commitment to reduce electric service interruptions, provide faster service restoration when outages do occur and deliver better communication with customers and governmental bodies about service-related issues. Developed in partnership with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and the City of Chicago, ComEd said it pledges to automatically pay business and residential customers whose service has been interrupted as a result of utility-controlled circumstances. Under the plan, qualifying residential and business customers will receive about the average of one month's electric service for each outage that exceeds eight hours or if they experience three or more outages, each of four or more hours in length, during a two-month period. Business customers would receive $100 credit on their account balance, while residential customers would receive a check for $60 for each qualified outage.

Dynegy Inc. has signed a three-year co-development agreement with OpenLink (www.olf.com), extending the two firms' current collaboration on OpenLink's Endur software system for front-through-back office trading and risk management. The Endur system currently is in beta testing. An announcement by OpenLink said Dynegy has used OpenLink systems to support trading and risk management functions since 1996, starting with natural gas and expanding into power, coal, weather, emissions, foreign currency, crude and natural gas liquids.

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