NGPL Extends Contracts With NIPSCO
Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL) continues to move
through the recontracting process like a hot knife through butter.
Since Kinder Morgan took over NGPL parent KN Energy last year, the
interstate pipeline subsidiary has signed multiple agreements and
contract extensions for gas transportation and storage with its
major shippers in the Midwest, including another deal announced
last week with Northern Indiana Public Service (NIPSCO).
NGPL and NIPSCO signed a contract extending the terms of several
firm transportation agreements totaling 295,100 MMBtu/d of capacity
beginning Dec. 1, 2000 and Dec. 1, 2001 and continuing through Nov.
30, 2002. They also extended the terms of two storage agreements
totaling 10.5 Bcf of capacity beginning Dec. 1, 2000 and April 1,
2001 and continuing through March 31, 2003. NIPSCO, a NiSource
subsidiary, is a regulated utility that provides natural gas to
nearly 700,000 customers and electricity to 416,000 customers
across the northern third of Indiana.
"Virtually all of our operationally available capacity is sold
out now until the fourth quarter of this year," said NGPL President
Deborah Mcdonald in an interview.
"Basically about a third of the transportation contracts and a
third of the storage contracts are up for renewal every year. We've
been very successful in our efforts resigning our three major
customers [NiGas, NIPSCO and Peoples]." Despite increasing
competitive pressure from Northern Border and Alliance Pipeline,
the pipeline also has had surprising luck signing agreements with
marketers and power generators.
"In contrast to the traditional market of long-haul
transportation from the Midcontinent and Louisiana to Chicago, we
have been extending our horizons trying to find a new market in the
marketers rather than the core LDCs. Obviously the contract that we
signed earlier this year with Aquila Energy for 500,000 MMBtu of
transportation capacity has also really helped us be successful in
our recontracting efforts," Mcdonald said.
"We also have developed a number of new rate services for
gas-fired power generators. Growth in NGPL will come from natural
gas-fired generation..... In the aggregate we think we are on
target to connect over 3,000 MW of gas-fired generation this year
and over 3,000 MW next year as well [which would represent up to
900 MMcf/d in gas transportation capacity]."
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