Natural gas buyers consider reliability, honesty and dependability, along with competitive pricing and accuracy of invoices and statements, to be the most important issues when they work with marketers, according to Mastio’s Natural Gas Marketer Customer Value & Loyalty Study for 2009.

The survey asked more than 1,000 customers to rate gas marketers on 27 attributes such as customer service, operations, products and services and company reputation and image. Of the 200 eligible marketers, almost 40 received enough customer responses to be included in the report, and of those several were within a few points of being ranked No. 1, according to Mastio Vice President Kevin Huntsman. “The results are a testament to the quality of service being provided by a great many natural gas marketers,” he said.

Houston-based Texican Natural Gas Co. earned the best overall score and the highest score in the regional marketer category, Mastio said. Atmos Energy Marketing was ranked second overall; ProLiance Energy was third and SCANA Corp. was fourth.

Tenaska Marketing Ventures/Tenaska Marketing Canada (TMV), the natural gas marketing affiliate of Omaha-based Tenaska, Inc., was ranked fifth overall and scored highest in the major marketer category. Last year Tenaska regained control of TMV after completing a repurchase from affiliates of American International Group Inc., which owned a half stake (see Daily GPI, Jan. 9, 2009). Tenaska was ranked eighth in NGI‘s most recent Top North American Gas Marketers survey, reporting physical sales of 5.50 Bcf/d in 3Q2009.

Rounding out the top 10 in Mastio’s survey were BP, ConocoPhillips, Occidental Energy Marketing, ONEOK Energy Services Co. and Chevron. BP was ranked highest in the NGI survey. ConocoPhillips, ONEOK, Chevron and Atmos were also included in NGI‘s rankings.

The Mastio survey is available at St. Joseph, MO-based Mastio measures customer perceptions by conducting studies in the natural gas, electric power, transportation and other industries.

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