Citing a restructuring plan formulated to deal with poor 1998earnings, Aquila Energy’s Aquila Gas Pipeline Corp. (AQP)announced Tuesday it will cut 60 people from its staff of 310. Thecuts will inflict a $1.7 million pre tax charge on the company’searnings.
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Producers may be walking around barefoot and hungry after thefinancial struggle in 1998, but LDCs’ wallets are thin as well. Theexceptionally warm year cut gas distribution throughputsignificantly and several local distribution companies ended theyear in the red. Average net income declined 10% for 19 gas andcombination utilities that reported earnings last week or the weekprior.
Coastal Corp. was able to buck the trend of poor second quarterearnings by improving refining margins, increasing its gasproduction 22% to 526 MMcf/d and raising its crude oil andcondensate production by 50% to18,063 b/d. The company reportedsecond quarter earnings of $94.6 million, or 43 cents per share, up23% (on a per share basis) from 2Q97 earnings of $79.3 million, 35cents/share.
After several years on hold because of poor Rocky Mountainregion market conditions, TransColorado Gas Transmission’s Phase IIexpansion project is proceeding and should be in service inDecember. FERC approved the 300 MMcf/d expansion last week as didthe Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.