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Industry Briefs

Industry Briefs

Shareholders of SCANA Corp. and Public Service Company of North Carolina approved a two-step merger transaction under which PSNC will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SCANA. Shareholders representing about 76% of Scana's outstanding shares and about 80% of PSNC's outstanding shares approved the two proposals. The merger still requires state and federal regulatory approvals. Completion is anticipated during the second half of 1999.

The Interior Department's Minerals Management Service has scheduled a meeting in Houston to discuss implementation of its Gulf of Mexico Royalty In-Kind pilot program, which is slated to begin in October. The three-year program will involve the collection and sale of as much as 800 MMcf/d of royalty gas from federal leases in the Gulf. It is the MMS's third RIK pilot, all of which are being conducted to determine the feasibility and economics of accepting royalties in kind rather that as a cash payment from lessees. The meeting on the Gulf RIK will begin at 10 a.m. on July 20 at the MMS Houston Compliance Division Office RM 104, 4141 Sam Houston Parkway East. It is open to the public without reservation. Lessees, operators, payers and potential purchasers are encouraged to attend.

Meridian Resource Corp. said it has extinguished the large fire at its Thibodaux No. 2 well near Amelia, LA. The well "bridged over" about 6 a.m., blocking substantially all the flow of natural gas, the company said. The underground geologic formation collapsed into the well bore as a result of the high pressure and flow rate of escaping gas, which created a natural "bridge" that temporarily is blocking the gas flow. A small fire continues to burn debris and residual natural gas near the well but will be allowed to safely burn itself out. The height of the flames has been reduced to less than 12 feet from about 150 feet. Meridian CEO Joseph A. Reeves Jr. said, "This is great news in that our well control specialists and firefighters on the scene can accelerate access to the well site by closer dredging and debris removal under safer conditions with much less heat and noise. Dredging operations may last another three or four days. Once debris removal and well inspection is complete, our team can determine the best and safest method for capping the well." The well fire was cause by a lightening strike eight days ago. No one was injured but 11 families were evacuated from Avoca Island last Friday night as a safety precaution. Meridian said the well was scheduled to be placed in production in July with 18 MMcf/d of gas.

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