MCN Energy said yesterday it has had to chop millions from its 1997and 1998 earnings reports and raise slightly its 1Q99 results becauseof deliberate financial miscalculations by several former employees atCoEnergy trading, its unregulated gas marketing subsidiary. MCNdiscovered the problem last month and fired three employees, includingtwo subsidiary officers (see Daily GPI, May18), for falsely showing good financial results from marketing.
Articles from Reports
Faced with conflicting reports about the need for new pipelinecapacity to serve the Northeast quadrant of the country, theFederal Energy Regulatory Commission last week called for aninquiry into the area’s projected demand for natural gas over thenext 20 years.
A comprehensive report on gas unbundling released by the U.S.General Accounting Office found that as of July 31 of this yearonly about 3.9% of the of the residential gas customers eligible tobuy gas from suppliers other than their regulated gas utility weredoing so. Roughly 553,000 residential gas users behind thecitygates of 43 gas utilities in 16 states were participating incustomer choice programs. Commercial participation levels were notavailable. The report, titled Energy Deregulation: Status ofNatural Gas Customer Choice Programs, was requested by Sens. JeffBingaman (D-NM) and Dale L. Bumpers (D-AK).
Almost a third of gas and oil companies surveyed expect to havecompleted Year-2000 (Y2K) remediation by the end of the year,according to the results of a new survey by the Natural Gas Council(NGC). It further found that 73% said they would be ready by June1999, while all respondents indicated they would be prepared byDecember 1999.
While gas reserves in the lower-48 states declined slightly lastyear (down 519 Bcf, or 0.3%), gas discoveries shot up 27% “from avery good 1996,” to the highest level in the past decade, theEnergy Information Administration said in an advance summary of astudy titled “U.S. Crude Oil, Natural Gas, and Natural Gas LiquidsReserves 1997 Annual Report.”
PG&E Corp. said second quarter earnings suffered because ofcosts associated with electric restructuring and its sale ofAustralian assets to Duke Energy. The company reported earnings of46 cents per share, compared to 49 cents per share for thecorresponding quarter in 1997, and net income of $174 million,compared with $193 million in 2Q97. A lower rate of exchangebetween the Australian and U.S. dollar resulted in a six-centcharge taken during the second quarter, PG&E said.
Reports swirled around Washington last week that the White Houseplans to tap Bill Richardson, U.S. Ambassador to the UnitedNations, as the next secretary of the Department of Energy, butthere was no official confirmation. If true, this would mark thesecond time Deputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Moler, who mostconcede is best qualified for the job, has been edged out of thetop energy post.