Industry briefs

Penn Virginia Corp., headquartered in Radnor, PA, has retained Waterous & Co. to assist with the potential sale of a portion of the company's Appalachia oil and gas properties. The properties, with an estimated 70 Bcfe of proved reserves are 97% natural gas. Current net production from the properties is 7 MMcf/d. A data room to review detailed property information is expected to open in Houston later this month. More information is available at www.waterous.com.

Calgary's Grey Wolf Exploration Inc. said it is acquiring natural gas producing properties and undeveloped land in the area of Canada's Sundre/Caroline, AL, considered the company's core area of exploration. Under the agreement, Grey Wolf will exchange its natural gas holdings in the Redwater, Radway, Thorhild, Newbrook and Abee areas, along with $500,000 in cash in exchange for the assets. Grey Wolf already owns interests in the properties, and the newest acquisition will increase its working interest to 44% from 18%. Current production is 1 MMcfe/d to 6 Mmcfe/d in natural gas and natural gas liquids.

FPL Energy Services, headquartered in Juno Beach, FL, will include more Florida customers under an expansion program beginning this fall. Following approval by the Florida Public Service Commission, FPL will begin natural gas service to businesses in Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach and Miami Beach. FPL Energy is an affiliate of Florida Power & Light Co., which serves 3.8 million customers.

Ohio regulators last week approved Cincinnati Gas & Electric's deregulation plan, which includes a 5% rate cut for residential customers beginning Jan. 1, and a promise of more savings for both residential and commercial accounts. The plan was approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, implementing legislation enacted in 1999 to deregulate the state's electric industry. CG&E will continue to provide electricity transmission and delivery service to the service area, and it will be regulated by PUCO. The plan freezes rates through Dec. 31, 2005 and unbundles electric rates into separate transmission, distribution, ancillary services and generation charges. To encourage switching among residential customers, the plan includes a shopping credit of 5 cents a kilowatt hour for the first 20% of those who switch as well as a waiver on the switching fee.

Utilities that serve customers in 19 states, including American Electric Power Co., Southern Co., Cinergy, FirstEnergy Corp., Vectren Corp., Teco Energy Inc. and Illinova Corp., were given 13 more months to complete upgrades or replacements of coal-fired power plants after a federal court extended the deadline for federal Clean Air Act rules last week. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia gave the states until May 31, 2004, instead of the former date of May 1, 2003, to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. The rules were first issued in September 1998 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but have been challenged by lawsuits since June 1999.

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