Indicative of the demands placed on California’s aging fleet ofin-state natural gas-fired electricity generating plants in thelast half of 2000, Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co.utility established its all-time sendout record of 1.142 Tcf,eclipsing the previous record year (1991) by almost 100 Bcf.

“Overall, we set more than 30 individual records for gasdeliveries and receipts,” SoCalGas’s head of energy transportationservices, Lee Stewart, told utility employees in a report publishedlast month.

Stewart said the nation’s largest gas distribution utility hadno curtailments for any of its customers – firm or interruptible -which contrasts with its affiliated Sempra utility, San Diego Gasand Electric Co. Curtailments to its largest customers, includingmerchant electric generation plants have occurred several times onSDG&E’s system, during days of all-time peak demand lastNovember and last month.

Electricity demand for SoCalGas prompted its record as thegas-only utility transported nearly half of its supplies to powerplants, totaling 521 Bcf, topping a record of 456 Bcf set in 1994.SoCal officials noted that without its efforts keeping thepipelines full California’s electricity supply problems could havebeen even worse.

Richard Nemec, Los Angeles

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