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Major Marketers 3Q Sales Compared

Major Marketers 3Q Sales Compared

Wholesale gas and power sales still appear to be climbing sharply for most major marketers as Enron, Duke Energy and Reliant all posted significant increases in both commodities in third quarter. Southern Energy reported that while its third quarter North American electricity sales declined from last year's third quarter level, its gas sales enjoyed a sizable increase.

Southern sold 54.9 million MWh of electricity, a decrease of 16 million MWh from last year's third quarter figure of 70.9 million MWh. A company spokesman attributed the decline on electricity sales primarily on the weather in the Northeast.

"We want to clarify that the decline in electricity volumes was the result for our company's North American operations and was very heavily influenced by the volumes of electricity and gas contracts traded by our marketing and risk management organization," said John Robinson, vice president investor relations, Southern Energy Inc.

"Southern Energy experienced increased profitability both from our North American asset portfolio as well as from our marketing and risk management activities. This increased profitability coupled with the lower overall transaction volume indicates that our strategy of focusing more on enhancing returns on our owned assets is working," Robinson added.

In comparison, Enron reported a 46% increase in electricity sales for the third quarter with 163 million MWh sold, compared to last year's third quarter results totaling 111 million MWh. Duke also experienced a jump in its power sales, increasing from 34 million MWh for the third quarter of 1999 to 90 million MWh for the third quarter of 2000. Reliant, like Enron and Duke reported an increase over 3Q 1999, recording a 36% increase. The company said the largest single contributor to its increase in electricity sales were its addition of Mid-Atlantic assets.

Even though Southern's electricity sales lagged, the company's gas sales flourished. Southern sold 7.3 Bcf/d, an increase from the company's 4.6 Bcf/d during 3Q 1999.

Enron's gas sales also rose significantly, from 13.3 Bcf/d during 3Q 1999 to 24.6 Bcf/d for 3Q 2000, with most of the gain attributed to EnronOnline, its online commodity exchange. Duke Energy's gas sales volume rose from 10 Bcf/d to 12 Bcf/d. Duke Energy spokesman Paul Mason said increased demand and more active trading were the two major reasons for Duke's gains. Reliant Energy's gas marketing volumes also rose between the two quarters, from 4.7 Bcf/d to 7 Bcf/d, marking a 49% increase.

Alex Steis

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