NGSA Tries to Calm Regulator Concerns Over Gas Prices
While gas prices remain extremely high, R. Skip Horvath,
president of the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA), last week
urged state regulators to be patient until the record number of gas
rigs operating can do their work and provide desperately needed
"Natural gas producers are doing everything we can to increase
our production and bring more natural gas to market," Horvath told
the 112th Annual Meeting of the National Association of Regulatory
Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in San Diego. "We are confident that
natural gas supply will meet the winter market demand, and that the
pipelines and distributors will get the gas to customers.
"We have a record number of rigs drilling new natural gas wells,
and today we have more gas in storage than we needed during the
cold winter of 1995-1996," he added. "Although supplies are tight,
the market is working."
Speaking on a panel titled "Are Rough Seas Ahead for Natural Gas
Consumers," Horvath urged regulatory restraint. "Government
intervention in the form of price caps will only harm consumers by
creating the very gas shortage we all seek to avoid." Patience is
needed, he said, while producers respond to record high prices, "a
process which can take anywhere from 3 to 18 months."
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