INGAA Downsizes Amid Bustling Merger Activity
The stepped-up merger frenzy of gas pipeline companies has taken
its toll on the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
(INGAA), which announced Friday it was downsizing its staff in
response to its loss of members and dues.
"The energy industry --- particularly the pipeline segment ---
is going through some upheaval, with mergers and consolidation, and
competition coming at our members from all sides. So it's only
natural that INGAA reflect that trend. Our member companies have
downsized to cut costs, and so must we," said INGAA President
Jerald V. Halvorsen.
Earlier this year, INGAA lost two members --- Kinder Morgan
Inc., which purchased the financial troubled KN Energy; and Sempra
Energy, parent of San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern
California Gas. The losses are likely to be much heavier next year
if El Paso Energy continues its current merger pace.
If all its deals go through, El Paso will either own or have
interest in El Paso Natural Gas, Midwestern Gas Pipeline, Southern
Natural Gas Pipeline, Mojave Pipeline, Tennessee Gas Pipeline,
Florida Gas Transmission, Texas Intrastates, ANR Pipeline, Colorado
Interstate Gas, Great Lakes Gas Transmission, Wyoming Interstate
and the All American Pipeline. For INGAA, this means that instead
of getting dues from each individual pipeline, it will be paid only
one membership fee by El Paso Energy.
Sempra's and Kinder Morgan's departure from INGAA meant that
about $505,000 less went into the trade group's coffers for 2000
--- $475,000 less from Kinder Morgan and $30,000 less from Sempra.
INGAA member dues are based on a pipeline company's revenues, and
are capped at $475,000.
The impact of El Paso's merger activity on the pipeline group's
budget next year could be staggering. INGAA's budget for this year
was estimated at $5.2 million. In early January, it reported it had
33 corporate members.
Departing from INGAA are John G. Ams, senior vice president for
finance and administration; Anne V. Roland, vice president of
communications and executive director of the INGAA Foundation; and
Lynne M. Turschmann, office manager and meetings coordinator. Each
of the three received a buyout package. Also leaving is Kashka
Bateman, an administrative assistant for the INGAA Foundation. This
leaves INGAA with 17 staff members.
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