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FERC Gives Producers a Break on Refunds

Natural gas producers scored a victory Wednesday when FERC ruledthey could post surety bonds in lieu of multi-million dollarrefunds to customers that fast coming due on March 9th. The bondmethod guarantees that customers will receive their refundpayments, and it gives producers what they seek most – a delay inpaying out the amounts until disputes over the refunds calculationsare resolved. The downside of this option is that producers will berequired to continue paying interest on the refund principal aslong as the bond remains in effect. Producers also have thealternative of paying their refund amounts into escrow accounts.

February 26, 1998

Transportation Notes

El Paso continued a 30 MMcf/d allocation of the San JuanCrossover through today due to unforeseen problems extendingmaintenance on the Laguna Station (Cibola County, NM) #3compressor. El Paso also postponed maintenance on the WendenStation (La Paz County, AZ) “A” turbine, which had been scheduledearlier this week, to March 16-18 to coincide with a total shutdownof the station March 17. Havasu Crossover capacity will be cut by80 MMcf/d on March 16 and 18 and by 150 MMcf/d on March 17.

February 26, 1998

Bidweek Seems Like No Big Deal For Futures Traders

The March Nymex contract turned in another heavily tradedsession on Tuesday, but once again, volatility was virtuallynon-existent. Although the spot month managed a 3.7 cent gain to$2.216, the contract was held to a relatively tight 5.5 centtrading band. Not even the expiration of options yesterday couldpersuade traders to push March out of its recent rigid tradinglimits.

February 25, 1998

1997 Reserves Replacement Hefty for Some

Despite predictions of waning gas supplies and worries over Gulfof Mexico production potential from some, several companies aretouting boom years for reserve replacement with some settingrecords. The strong reserve replacement came in a year when gasproduction is said to have seen only a modest increase of abouthalf a Bcf. Much of the good news for reserve replacement comesfrom oil and international operations, but domestic gas fared well,too, according to some company reports.

February 25, 1998

AGA’s New President Promises to Hold Down Costs, Dues

It’s been a quick five months since David Parker took over thehelm at the American Gas Association but he’s already shown awillingness to pick up the cost-cutting flag and run with it.Parker said yesterday in an interview with NGI he’s made acommitment to the AGA board to continue restructuring measures,including changes that will further cut costs and hold down dues.

February 25, 1998

CPUC Judge Recommends Approval of PE-Enova Merger

A California Public Utility Commission administrative law judgehas recommended approval of the proposed Pacific Enterprises-EnovaCorp. merger, citing potential savings of $288 million spread overfive years and divided equally between ratepayers and shareholders.

February 25, 1998

D.C. Businesses to Get Customer Choice

More than 250 commercial gas customers in the District ofColumbia will soon have the opportunity to choose a gas supplierother than Washington Gas. The District of Columbia Public ServiceCommission (PSC) approved the company’s request to offer choice inthe District to large commercial customers who use at least 60,000therms/year and who do not maintain an alternate to gas service.(60,000 therms is about 60 times what the average residentialheating customer uses annually.) Large interruptible customers whouse more than 250,000 therms annually have had supplier choicesince 1988.

February 25, 1998

Enron Financing Gas-to-Liquids Plant

Enron Capital & Trade Resources Corp. (ECT), SyntroleumCorp., and SLH Corp. contributed a total of $3 million to funddetailed engineering, land purchase and other development costs foran 8,000 barrel/d gas-to-liquids specialty product plant inSweetwater County, WY, to be developed by Syntroleum. Subject toconditions, ECT committed an additional $14.5 million for aminority interest in the plant.

February 25, 1998

Producers Seek Extension of Refund Deadline

A group of natural gas producers and marketers has asked FERC toextend until July 9th the deadline for producer payments of anestimated $500 million in customer refunds. The refunds, which aredue March 9th, are owed to customers who purchased gas produced inKansas during the 1980s at costs that, because they included thestate’s ad valorem tax, exceeded the level allowed under theNatural Gas Policy Act (NGPA).

February 25, 1998

Snow Has Differing Price Effects in Northeast, Rockies

Flatness again dominated Tuesday in the majority of cashmarkets. However, Northeast citygates dropped by about a nickeldespite heavy, wet snow or cold windswept rain in the region thatone weather forecast service expected to persist overnight.

February 25, 1998