Dominion has closed the sale of its Canadian natural gas and oil exploration and production (E&P) operations to Canadian-based Paramount Energy Trust and Baytex Energy Trust. The Canadian operations were sold to the trusts in May (see NGI, June 4). The closing price was US$624 million, based on currency exchange rates on Monday. At the end of 2006, the Western Canada operations included 267 Bcfe of proved natural gas and oil reserves, with average production of 60 MMcfe/d. Dominion is in the process of selling almost all of its E&P operations as it refocuses on the power generation and energy distribution, transmission, storage and retail businesses. In early June, Dominion made a deal to sell nearly all of its U.S. onshore E&P properties in a two-way transaction with Loews Corp. and XTO Energy Corp. for $6.5 billion (see NGI, June 11). In late April, the company sold its offshore E&P business to a subsidiary of Italy’s Eni SpA for $4.76 billion. Only Dominion’s Midcontinent properties remain to be sold, and that process is expected to begin in July and be completed by the end of the year. Dominion plans to retain its Appalachian Basin operations, which include 1 Tcfe of proved reserves. The operations are considered lower-risk and a strategic fit with the company’s gas gathering, pipeline and storage systems.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors honored Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co., recognizing the utility’s recent top national ranking for customer service by J.D. Power. SoCalGas ranked highest for customer satisfaction among natural gas utilities in the western United States and scored highest nationwide in the latest J.D. Power study, which determined the ranking by interviewing more than 12,000 customers. The ranking looks at six criteria: company image, price and value, communications, billing and payments, customer service, and field services. The gas utility — the nation’s largest — came out on top among all 56 large natural gas utilities in the study, the county resolution noted.

©Copyright 2007Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.