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BP Catapults to Top of Gas Marketer Ranking

With the reentry of leading U.S. natural gas producer BP plc, combined with overall gains among the participants, NGI's survey of North American physical gas marketers for the last three months of 2007 showed a healthy jump quarter-over-quarter.

Three years after opting out of NGI's quarterly survey, BP plc rejoined the ranking -- and catapulted immediately back into first place by reporting almost 30 Bcf/d in gas sales in 4Q2007. BP's closest competitor sold about half that amount in the last three months of 2007. Shell Energy NA reported almost 15 Bcf/d in gas sales, which was 20% higher than the 12 Bcf/d sold in 4Q2006.

The 25 North American gas marketers and producers participating in NGI's 4Q2007 ranking sold a total of 143 Bcf/d, well ahead of the amount of gas sold by the participants in 4Q2006. Company information was provided directly to NGI or was reported in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. The SEC information detailed "physical gas sales" or "gas available for sale."

BP, which like its fellow marketers voluntarily reports its gas sales, last provided North American figures to NGI for the survey done for 4Q2004.

Following BP and Shell, Houston-based ConocoPhillips proved itself a more-than-reliable gas trader once again, moving into third place in the survey with a 2% hike in quarter-over-quarter gas sales. Conoco sold 13.7 Bcf/d in 4Q2007, up slightly from 13.4 Bcf/d a year earlier.

In fourth place was Constellation Energy Commodities Group, which pumped up its U.S. and Canadian physical gas sales by 37% to nearly 11 Bcf/d from 8 Bcf/d a year earlier. And Louis Dreyfus Energy Services LP jumped 55% quarter-over-quarter, moving into the top five with about 8.3 Bcf/d in physical gas sales, compared with 5.3 Bcf/d a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Sempra Commodities held sixth place with a reported 8.1 Bcf/d in gas sales, down 14% from the 9.4 Bcf/d reported in 4Q2006. Chevron Corp. was in seventh place, off slightly in gas sales from a year ago to 7.62 Bcf/d from 7.67 Bcf/d.

Holding the eighth spot was Calgary-based Nexen, which proved its worth with a 24% gain from a year earlier to 6.8 Bcf/d from 5.5 Bcf/d. Tenaska Marketing Ventures moved into ninth place, with gas sales up 8% to 5.4 Bcf/d from 5 Bcf/d. And UBS Energy rounded out the top 10, with a 1% rise in gas sales to 4.39 Bcf/d from 4.34 Bcf/d a year ago.

NGI's quarterly marketer surveys rely on SEC filings as well as company submittals. Several companies did not provide 4Q2007 or full-year 2007 physical gas sales in their annual reports. For instance, the 4Q2007 number might be provided but the full-year 2007 figure was not. Or the full-year gas sales figure was available, but the final quarter numbers were not. In those cases, NGI estimated the quarterly or year-end totals by using the information that was available and calculated an average for the missing 4Q2007 or year-end data by using 1Q2007, 2Q2007, 3Q2007 and year-end figures that were provided.

As in the past, the survey is merely a glimpse of what is happening in the marketplace across the United States and Canada. No company is required to participate and it is possible there are other North American marketers that may have topped the leaders that participated in the latest NGI survey. The latest snapshot reveals a healthy playing field -- most of those surveyed showed clear gains from the same period a year ago.

Company 4Q2007 4Q2006 Change
BP plc 29.90 n/a n/a
Shell Energy NA 14.70 12.20 20%
ConocoPhillips 13.70 13.40 2%
Constellation 10.98 8.00 37%
Louis Dreyfus 8.30 5.34 55%
Sempra 8.10 9.40 -14%
Chevron 7.62 7.67 -1%
Nexen 6.80 5.50 24%
Tenaska 5.40 5.00 8%
UBS 4.39 4.34 1%
EnCana 3.72 3.41 9%
Lehman Brothers 3.70 n/a n/a
Oneok 3.32 3.18 4%
Sequent 2.80 2.30 22%
Devon 2.60 2.40 8%
ExxonMobil 2.40 2.40 0%
Chesapeake 2.04 1.39 47%
Merrill Lynch 2.03 1.91 6%
Anadarko 2.01 2.24 -10%
XTO 1.67 1.10 52%
Canadian Natural 1.56 1.59 -2%
CenterPoint Energy 1.51 1.41 7%
Enserco 1.57 1.90 -17%
Apache 1.18 1.10 7%
El Paso 1.04 1.18 -12%
Total* 143.04 n/a n/a

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