An updated outlook for natural gas prices in the Pacific Northwest will be given Wednesday at an annual meeting called by the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) at its headquarters in the state capital of Salem. Representatives from the Northwest Gas Association and three natural gas utilities will offer insights at a mid-morning session.
Oregon’s three-member PUC indicated that it hopes to hear perspectives on a range of issues with a focus on what, if anything, might change gas prices this fall. Oregon’s three gas distribution utilities — NW Natural, Avista Utilities and MDU Resources Group’s Cascade Natural Gas — will each file requests with the PUC later this summer to adjust their rates based on the expected changes in wholesale natural gas prices.
Oregon’s two primary sources of gas supplies are Western Canada and the U.S. Rockies. The latter could be bolstered longer term by the new Ruby Pipeline that terminates in far south-central Oregon at Malin.
Wednesday’s agenda outlined by Oregon regulators includes a regional gas price overview by the PUC staff; followed by a second staff presentation on the national and regional gas outlooks; an assessment of national and international issues by the Northwest Gas Association; and finally, the market and price assessments by each of the utilities.
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