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Slower Growth Reported By Top 20 Marketers

Slower Growth Reported By Top 20 Marketers

Despite notching new annual volume records for the fifth consecutive year since NGI started ranking gas marketers, the pace of volume growth among the top 20 North American gas and power marketers has shown some signs of decline.

While gas marketing volumes grew by 10.5% last year to 134.8 Bcf/d, power marketing volumes for the top 20 power marketers in NGI's ranking soared an astounding 32.6% (654 million MWh) to 2,658.7 MM MWh. Nevertheless, that pace is significantly slower than in 1998 when there was a 935.8 MM MWh annual increase. While power marketing still has plenty of room to mature, volume growth may be losing some of its steam at least among the top marketers. After all, power sales volumes have jumped 194% just in the past two years.

Gas volume growth hit a high point in 1997 when the top 20 posted a 22.4 Bcf/d increase to 90 Bcf/d. The pace slowed in 1998 to a 17.1 Bcf/d annual increase and ended 1999 up only 12.8 Bcf/d to 134.8 Bcf/d. Total volumes of the top 20 have grown 111% over the last five years from a piddling 63.9 Bcf/d in 1995 to a whopping 134.8 Bcf/d last year.

Duke Energy showed the largest volume growth last year, 2.6 Bcf/d to 8.8 Bcf/d, which moved the company to second place in the rankings from fourth place in 1998. Enron, Reliant, ExxonMobil, Coral and Sempra were the other big gainers. In contrast, Engage scaled back its operations by 1 Bcf/d to 5.6 Bcf/d. PG&E had the other large number in the minus column with a decline of 940 MMcf/d to 8.4 Bcf/d, which dropped it to sixth in the rankings from third. PG&E made up for the decline on the gas side, however, with a sharp increase in power volumes.

Nearly all of the top power marketers showed volume growth, with PG&E topping the list with an increase of 141.7 MM MWh to 224.7 MM MWh. With that level of growth, PG&E jumped to fourth in the rankings from tenth. Dynegy posted the largest volume decrease on the power side at minus 51.8 MM MWh for a total of 79.3 million MWh. Cinergy, Enron and Peco Energy were the others reporting volume declines. LG&E, Sempra Energy and Statoil dropped out of the top 20 on the power side, while Tractebel, Constellation and Koch jumped in.

One company likely to be making huge gains this year is Peco Energy, which is in the process of merging with Commonwealth Edison to create the largest nuclear generation company on the continent. The merger is expected to be completed in August, but Peco spokesman David Greer said that won't be too late to have a major impact on wholesale volumes. Greer said to expect Peco-ComEd to be in the top three in power sales by the end of 2000.


1999 Gas Marketer Table
1999 Power Marketer Table

Rocco Canonica

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