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Husky, Renaissance Energy Join Top Canadian Exporters

Husky, Renaissance Energy Join Top Canadian Exporters

Two producers-Husky Oil Ltd. and Renaissance Energy Ltd.-have jumped into the ranks of top 10 Canadian suppliers of natural gas to the United States, says a scorecard kept by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy.

Husky and Renaissance, both growing independents, joined an inner circle that delivered 1.975 Tcf or 65% of the 3.05 Tcf in Canadian exports to the U.S. in 1998.

The top 10 included TransCanada PipeLines' TransCanada Gas Services with 539.9 Bcf of 1998 exports; Pan-Alberta Gas, 384.8 Bcf; Engage Energy Canada, 245.2 Bcf, ProGas Ltd., 217.6 Bcf, Enron Canada, 143.9 Bcf, Duke Energy, 122.1 Bcf, BP-Amoco Canada, 102.4 Bcf, PanCanadian Petroleum, 79.9 Bcf, Renaissance, 72.7 Bcf and Husky, 67.3 Bcf.

PanCanadian and BP-Amoco are running neck-and-neck for the title of top Canadian gas producer. But the top suppliers' list confirmed that gas exports to the U.S. continue to be a collective enterprise, giving virtually all Canadian producers stakes in U.S. markets. Traditional "aggregators" that represent cross-sections of producers organized in decades-old supply pools built on decades-long contracts -TransCanada, Pan-Alberta and ProGas - still accounted for 1.1 Tcf or more than one-third of exports last year. Engage (a partnership of Westcoast Energy and Coastal Corp.), Enron and Duke likewise draw on large pools of Canadian suppliers, but as private marketing houses rather than co-ops.

The aggregators all vow to keep on growing, at least at a rate that retains their market share as Canadian exports head toward a peak which new forecasts by the National Energy Board project to go as high as 5 Tcf in 2018. Pan-Alberta, which now has producer-owner-managers, especially is formulating big plans. The co-op survived a prolonged internal feud and lawsuit that resulted in members wresting control from Nova Corp. following that company's takeover by TransCanada last year.

Gordon Jaremko, Calgary

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