In Mastiogale’s 10th edition of its industrywide Natural Gas Marketer Customer Value Study, respondents to survey questions indicated that “reliability of supply” was their top need when choosing a gas supplier.

Following reliability, the telephone survey of 749 natural gas buyers found that supplier honesty and trustworthiness was the second most important quality, followed by “historically dependable in meeting commitments,” “price competitiveness,” and “accurate and timely nominations.”

And, fortunately for gas marketers, the categories that customers ranked the highest area also generally the categories in which the marketing companies scored the highest in the survey, said Kevin Huntsman, spokesman for Mastiogale. “They’re doing the best at what people think are the most important attributes.”

The survey rated 180 natural gas marketers, of which 29 had sufficient ratings to be included in the 2006 report. The study results were grouped into three index categories: overall, major marketer, and regional marketer. The winner in the “overall” and “regional” categories was ProLiance Energy. Oneok Energy Services won in the “major marketer” category.

In general, respondents scored marketing companies the lowest in quality of information provided; speed of negotiations; and flexibility of contracts. However, Huntsman said that marketing companies might not wish to be known for quick negotiations and contract flexibility, which could suggest that they leave money on the table. “If I’m the gas marketer, I don’t know if I want to be the best at flexible contracts.”

Besides ProLiance and Oneok, seven other marketers exceeded the survey’s industry benchmark. In alphabetical order they are: Atmos Energy, BP, ConocoPhillips, Nexen Inc., SCANA, Texican Energy, and WPS Energy Services.

Marketers were rated in 26 attributes measuring performance in five categories: customer service, operations, products and services, company reputation and image, and pricing.

In the previous survey, ConocoPhillips came out on top, and Noble Energy was at the top of the regional marketer list (see NGI, Jan. 16).

And in results made available last month, Nexen topped the rankings of gas purchasers/marketers in a new customer satisfaction survey based on 300 interviews with gas producers by Missouri-based Mastiogale (see NGI, Oct. 9). Other top buyers that exceeded the industry benchmark were BP, ConocoPhillips, Shell Energy Trading and Corpus Christi-based marketer Shoreline Gas.

Mastiogale is based in St. Joseph, MO. For more information, visit

©Copyright 2006Intelligence 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.