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El Paso Energy Grew Earnings 16%

El Paso Energy Grew Earnings 16%

El Paso Energy's two pipelines combined lost $2 million, but the company still turned in improved earnings. Third quarter earnings were 43 cents/diluted share, an increase of 16% from 37 cents in Q3 1997.

"We are pleased with the continued solid performance of all of our operating segments in a very difficult business environment," said CEO William A. Wise. "In particular, combining the strengths of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. and El Paso Natural Gas Co. provides the stable platform we need to produce reliable results for our shareholders as we continue to withstand the impacts of weak natural gas and liquids prices and the current economic uncertainty in international markets."

Tennessee reported third quarter EBIT of $81 million compared to $74 million a year ago. The $7 million increase resulted from lower operating expenses partially offset by a decrease in throughput due to generally mild weather in market areas. Tennessee throughput averaged 4,317 billion Btu/d.

El Paso Natural Gas reported third quarter EBIT of $58 million compared to $67 million in 1997. The decrease resulted from lower revenues due to contract step-downs, partially offset by additional revenues from re-marketed pipeline capacity. El Paso system throughput averaged 4,101 billion Btu/d for the third quarter of 1998.

El Paso Field Services Company reported third quarter EBIT of $12 million compared to $14 million in 1997. The acquisitions of Tejas Power Co. and DeepTech International Inc. increased gathering and processing volumes during the quarter. Increased volumes partially offset the impact of continued weak gas liquids prices. Gathering volumes for the quarter averaged 4,006 billion Btu/d, while processing volumes averaged 941 billion Btu/d.

El Paso Energy Marketing Co. reported break-even results for the third quarter compared to $2 million in the third quarter of 1997. Total average marketed gas volumes in the quarter were 10,931 billion Btu/d, while power marketed volumes were 15.7 million megawatt hours.

Joe Fisher, Houston

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