Virginia Gas Co., a small integrated natural gas companyoperating in the southwestern tip of Virginia, has selectedOppenheimer Corp. as its financial advisor to conduct an evaluationof the company, its subsidiaries and affiliates, and strategicalternatives available.

Michael L. Edwards, Virginia Gas president, said it will exploreall viable strategic alternatives recommended by CIBC OppenheimerCorp. and implement those that are in the best interest of thecompany’s shareholders.

Virginia Gas, headquartered in Abingdon, is engaged in pipelineoperation, natural gas storage, gathering, marketing anddistribution services; natural gas exploration, production and welloperation; and propane distribution.

The company showed net income for first quarter 1999 of $832,000or 15/cents per common share. That compared with a 1Q98 net lossof $616,000, including an extraordinary charge of $832,000 for abond refinancing. In 1998 Virginia Gas had net income beforespecial items of $554,000 on revenues of $9.8 million compared to anet of $908,000 on revenues of $9.3 million in 1997.

Virginia Gas operates two storage fields, one of which is a highdeliverability salt cavern in operation since 1996 with 650 MMcf ofworking gas capacity expected to go to 1 Bcf by the 2000/2001heating season and ultimately to 10 Bcf. The company says itsprimary source of future growth is expected to come from itsproposed Tidewater Intrastate Pipeline System, consisting of 480miles of transmission pipeline extending across Virginia. The first71.5 mile stage of the system connecting to the Saltville cavern isunder construction.

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