BP Forms Alliance with Energy East

BP Energy Co. has signed an agreement in principle to lend its extensive supply expertise, marketing and trading knowledge, financial products and information technology to a strategic alliance with the four Energy East Corp. distribution companies in New York and New England, the companies said last Thursday.

The alliance will contribute additional expertise to natural gas acquisition, optimization and supply management for New York State Electric & Gas, Connecticut Natural Gas, Southern Connecticut Gas and Berkshire Gas.

The Energy East companies will continue to own their natural gas distribution assets and will contribute off-system sales knowledge, load information, city gate management and regulatory insight to the alliance. BP Energy, the natural gas and power trading and energy management business for BP in North America, will add the supply-side expertise.

"This new relationship with one of the premier energy companies in North America will supplement our existing expertise and take our capabilities to a new level," said Denis Wickham, Energy East's senior vice president-transmission and supply.

"The Energy East-BP alliance is a great fit of skills and assets in a strategic energy market - the Northeast," said Orlando Alvarez, vice president of BP Energy's East Region.

The Energy East companies will make the appropriate regulatory filings, seeking approvals as required. The agreement is the end result of a process begun by Energy East's natural gas companies in January to explore economical alternatives regarding natural gas supply and to enhance the benefits of a larger natural gas portfolio as a result of the Energy East mergers that were completed last year. The alliance is based on sharing incremental savings. Energy East is a super-regional energy services and delivery company serving 2 million customers (1.4 million electricity and 600,000 natural gas) in upstate New York and New England. Energy East also announced a strategic combination Feb. 20 with RGS Energy Group, the parent company of Rochester Gas and Electric Corp.

BP, the largest natural gas producer and reserves holder in North America, .produces around 4 Bcf/d and sells more than 10 Bcf/d in North America.

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