Consolidated Edison and Orange and Rockland Utilities passed amilestone on their way to merging with approval of the transactionFriday by the New York Public Service Commission (NYPSC). Themerger also has been approved by the New Jersey and Pennsylvaniaregulators and FERC. Con Ed plans to acquire all O&R’s commonstock for $58.50 per share, or about $790 million. O&R willbecome a wholly-owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison and willcontinue to operate as a separate company. The utilities areawaiting the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission andcompletion of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act review by the U.S.Department of Justice and expect to close the transaction by nextmonth.

Denver-based Gulf Canada Resources’ new, 100% owned gasprocessing plant in the Steen area of northwestern Alberta is fullyoperational and was flowing 33 MMcf/d of gas from three wells atthe end of the first quarter. Another well will begin productionshortly, and two additional wells can be tied in next winter. TheSteen plant, which is about 25 miles below the northern border ofAlberta, began operations March 26, two months ahead of schedule.Gulf has drilled eight successful wells surrounding the plant site.At year-end 1998 the company had booked 72 Bcf of proved gasreserves. In addition, Gulf has drilled two nearby discoveries thatwill add more production capability and reserves and has identifiedup to ten additional winter 1999-2000 drilling locations. The plantis expected to produce about 30 MMcf/d but can be expanded.

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