Texaco Inc. has agreed to pay $43 million to settle charges byseveral whistleblowers that the firm underpaid royalties due oncrude oil drilled from federal and Indian leases, The U.S. JusticeDepartment said Wednesday. The settlement covers underpayments fromJanuary 1980 to through December 1998. Two former AtlanticRichfield Co. marketing managers brought the lawsuit in the U.S.District Court in Lufkin, TX, and will receive part of the Texacosettlement. The settlement agreement was signed by representativesof several Indian tribes, as well as the federal government. Thegovernment has reached similar settlements on royalty underpaymentswith Mobil, Occidental Petroleum, Chevron, BP Amoco, Conoco, DevonEnergy, Union Pacific Resources and Sunoco.

Alliance Pipeline said it received notice from both the NationalEnergy Board (NEB) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission(FERC) that its tariffs have been accepted as filed. Alliancecurrently expects that its in-service date will be Oct. 30. “OnOct. 9 we plan to begin operation of the electronic systems whichimplement the various business procedures outlined in the tariffs.At that time, Alliance will facilitate capacity release andassignment transactions for our shippers, with full nominationprocedures being implemented on our in-service date,” said JackCrawford, vice president of public, government and regulatoryaffairs. Alliance is designed to deliver 1.325 Bcf/d of gas fromthe gas producing regions of northeastern British Columbia andnorthwestern Alberta to the Chicago, IL, area where itinterconnects with the North American pipeline grid.

Five former energy trading executives from Avista Energy and VitolGas & Electric have formed Derigen Consulting to offer the energytrading industry “expert level consulting and software developmentServices.” Heading up the firm is Jeffrey MacInnis, formerly the CIOfor Avista Energy. Other founding members include Peter Siciliano,previously Avista’s vice president/controller; Robert Jacobs, formerlyhe was the position manager for Avista and head gas trader for Vitol;Michael Mudge, former senior oracle DBA and project manager withAvista; and Suzanne Carroll, who used to be the director of contractsadministration for Vitol Gas & Electric. “We formed Derigen inorder to offer the energy trading industry management services thatprovide the same stable and trusted policies that we developed tonavigate Vitol Gas & Electric,” said Jacobs, vice presidentconsulting services. To learn more about Derigen, visit its web siteat www.derigen.com.

Austin, TX-based Southern Union Co. yesterday completed its mergerswith Providence Energy Corp. and Fall River Gas Co. It completed itsmerger with Valley Resources Inc. on Sept. 20. The three mergers,which first became public a year ago (see Daily GPI, Sept. 13, 1999), increase the company’s NewEngland division to nearly 300,000 customers. Providence Energyshareholders will receive $42.50 cash for each share of common stockthey own, while Fall River Gas customers will receive the equivalentof $23.50 per common share in cash and/or Southern union commonstock. Southern Union now serves nearly 1.6 million customers inTexas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Floridaand Mexico. Its natural gas operating divisions include Southern UnionGas, Missouri Gas energy, PG Energy, Atlantic Utilities and the NewEngland division.

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