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AEC's Midstream Forecasts Strong 2000, 2001

AEC's Midstream Forecasts Strong 2000, 2001

Based on recent and near-term acquisitions, Alberta Energy Company Ltd., (AEC) has upped cash flow projections for its midstream business for 2000 from the original estimate of C$145 million to over C$165 million. The company also expects its midstream's forecasted cash flow for the year 2001 to be C$230 million, double its performance in 1999.

AEC said its growing natural gas storage business is reaching record profitability, increasing 55% to C$30 million in the first nine months of 2000 when compared to the same period for last year. AEC attributes the increase primarily to the "application of proprietary systems for optimizing the utilization of its gas storage assets."

Currently, AEC operates two storage facilities in Alberta with a capacity of 95 Bcf, and the 14 Bcf Wild Goose facility in California. The company also is leasing 3 Bcf of storage space in Katy, TX. "We would like to continue to grow our storage business," said AEC spokesman Greg Kist. "We think it is one of our core competencies and we will continue to look for opportunities." Kist added that the company is actively searching in North America for storage acquisition prospects.

AEC in September purchased the 30% of AEC Pipelines Ltd., that is publicly traded, and the company also entered into a partnership agreement with Koch Pipelines Canada L.P. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., to own and expand the crude oil Cold Lake Pipeline System.

AEC also bought out its partner TransCanada Pipelines' interest in the crude oil Express Pipeline System. AEC issued 1.7 million common shares to TransCanada on Nov. 6 to satisfy the C$100 million purchase price (see NGI, Oct. 8). AEC also expects to close its $100 million purchase of a 36% interest crude oil Transandino Pipeline System in Argentina later this month.

Alex Steis

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