Wholesale gas and power sales still appear to be climbingsharply for most major marketers as Enron, Duke Energy and Reliantall posted significant increases in both commodities in thirdquarter. Southern Energy reported that while its third quarterNorth American electricity sales declined from last year’s thirdquarter level, its gas sales enjoyed a sizable increase.

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

“We want to clarify that the decline in electricity volumes wasthe result for our company’s North American operations and was veryheavily influenced by the volumes of electricity and gas contractstraded by our marketing and risk management organization,” saidJohn Robinson, vice president investor relations, Southern EnergyInc.

“Southern Energy experienced increased profitability both fromour North American asset portfolio as well as from our marketingand risk management activities. This increased profitabilitycoupled with the lower overall transaction volume indicates thatour strategy of focusing more on enhancing returns on our ownedassets is working,” Robinson added.

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

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

Enron’s gas sales also rose significantly, from 13.3 Bcf/dduring 3Q 1999 to 24.6 Bcf/d for 3Q 2000, with most of the gainattributed to EnronOnline, its online commodity exchange. DukeEnergy’s gas sales volume rose from 10 Bcf/d to 12 Bcf/d. DukeEnergy spokesman Paul Mason said increased demand and more activetrading were the two major reasons for Duke’s gains. ReliantEnergy’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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