Northwest Natural Gas and NIPSCO subsidiary NI Energy Services(NESI) have combined Canadian exploration and productionsubsidiaries into one company, Canor Energy Ltd., to “ramp upgrowth prospects and increase competitiveness.” NW combinedsubsidiary Canor Energy with NESI’s Southlake Energy March 31through the purchase of Southlake’s stock in exchange for shares inCanor. The new Canor is 66% owned by NW Natural and 34% owned byNESI. The combined company has a production volume approaching4,000 boe/d. Natural gas equivalent reserves total more than 120Bcf.

“The merger gives Canor the scale and assets it needs tocompete aggressively and grow rapidly in Canada,” said Canor’s CEORick Harper. “The new Canor is starting as a 100% equity companywith the ability to finance in Canadian capital markets up to adebt-to-capitalization ratio of about 50%. The strong balance sheetof the new company, coupled with good internal cash flow andpotential increased equity from existing owners, will enable us tocontinue to grow rapidly.”

Canor had managed NESI’s Southlake assets since 1995 under aprevious agreement. As a result, the merger has secured theorganizational size and strength of the existing Canor group.

“For NW Natural this is a growth play.,” said NW Natural’s CEORichard G. Reiten. “Canor already has demonstrated its ability todevelop proven reserves and generate net income.”

NESI formed Southlake Energy in December 1995 through a C$17million oil and gas property acquisition. Since that time thecompany has doubled in size, according to Jeff Yundt, COO ofNIPSCO’s Energy Services division.

©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press,Inc.