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Shell Acquires 70,000 Ohio Retail Gas Contracts from USP&G

Shell Acquires 70,000 Ohio Retail Gas Contracts from USP&G

Shell Energy Services said it has transferred 70,000 Ohio retail natural gas sales accounts from U.S. Power and Gas (USP&G), a retail energy marketer that has decided to put its Ohio operations on hold. Shell said the customer assignments, all of which were in the Dominion East Ohio (DEO) service territory, were completed on Dec. 31, 2003. No terms of the transfer were announced.

Shell told customers they would not experience any change in service or rates. Shell and USP&G worked closely with Dominion East Ohio and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to ensure the accounts were transitioned smoothly. Customers who were affected by the transfer received letters from the companies notifying them of the transition.

All of USP&G's gas customers were transferred to Shell, which has been active in the Ohio Customer Choice program since its inception in 2001. A PUCO spokesman said USP&G made a business decision to transfer its customers but intends to maintain its marketing certificate for a possible resumption of gas sales at a later date. In a letter to customers last month, USP&G said its decision to exit the business was a result of "changing business conditions." A USP&G spokesman would not comment further on the company's plans.

Shell said it now serves about 400,000 retail gas customer in Ohio and Georgia and has been expanding its operation since entering the retail business in 1998.

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