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FERC Approves Expanded NorAm Pooling

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week gave NorAmGas Transmission the go-ahead to proceed with its plan to doublethe number of pooling areas on its system, effective April 1,subject to FERC review of a tariff filing outlining the poolboundary changes.

April 6, 1998

Columbia Files to Offer Choice to 1.3 Million Customers

After 30% of its gas customers saved $7 million (11%) on theirgas bills through a customer choice pilot in Toledo, OH, last year,Columbia Gas of Ohio decided the results were too good to withholdfrom the rest of its customer base. The Ohio utility filed anapplication with the Ohio Public Utility Commission late Tuesday toallow the rest of its 1.3 million customers to choose alternativesuppliers.

April 2, 1998

Prices Up in Cool West, Down in Warm East

Cash prices for the last weekend of March appeared to be payingattention to weather fundamentals for a change Friday. Markets inthe West, where it was still cold enough to matter, tended to seegains of 2-5 cents. But east of the Rocky Mountains it was adifferent story as mild temperatures sent prices down by similaramounts.

March 30, 1998

Industry Furor over El Paso-NGC Contracts Heats Up

Natural Gas Clearinghouse’s (NGC) controversial transportationcontracts for 1.3 Bcf/d with El Paso Natural Gas came under fireagain last week as producers and marketers hammered away at thealleged anticompetitive nature of the firm agreements.

March 25, 1998

D.C. Court Denies Georgia Industrial Group Challenge

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals last week denied a petitionchallenging FERC-approved tariff revisions of South Georgia NaturalGas on the grounds that it in part amounted to a “collateralattack” on Order 636, which the court previously upheld.

March 23, 1998

Crystal Oil Closes Petal Storage Deal

Crystal Oil Co. of Shreveport, LA, last week closed on itspreviously announced acquisition of Petal Gas Storage Co. Theacquisition of Petal will complement and provide synergies with thesalt dome storage facility already owned by Hattiesburg Gas StorageCo., a subsidiary of Crystal, and which is located less than onemile from the Petal facility. With the acquisition of Petal,Crystal’s subsidiaries will have more than 6.7 Bcf of gas storageworking capacity with the ability to deliver in excess of 670MMcf/d in this major corridor to the northeastern gas markets. JoeAverett, Crystal president, said the acquisition makes Crystal thelargest independent provider of salt cavern gas storage in the U.S.

March 16, 1998

GRI Restructuring Settlement Okayed

Chief Administrative Law Judge Curtis L. Wagner last weekcertified to FERC for its approval the Gas Research Institute (GRI)funding settlement that sets the stage for its seven-year journeyto become a voluntary-funded organization.

March 16, 1998

FERC Calls for Testimony on Complaint Procedures

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week announced itwill hold a symposium later this month to address reform of itscomplaint procedures.

March 16, 1998

Tax Relief Bill for Alternative Fuels Introduced

Rep. John E. Ensign (R-NV) proposed legislation late last weekthat would provide a 50-cent income tax credit for each gallonequivalent of natural gas, propane and methanol used in vehiclesplaced in service after Dec. 31, 1997. The tax credit will act as a”significant financial” incentive for fleet managers and others tostep up their use of clean, domestic fuels.

March 10, 1998

FERC Gears up to Tackle Gas Issues

A FERC options paper outlining various gas issues, whichCommission staff has been compiling since last fall, is scheduledto go to the full Commission next week – an indication FERC willtake action very soon. Commissioners are at odds, however, overwhether the gas issues will be addressed on a comprehensive basisor individually.

March 3, 1998