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Yankee Gas Services Company
P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141-0270
Yankee's Fletcher on Regional Gas Supply Panel
LDC Forum in Boston to focus on future of supply, price[
Sandy St. Pierre
BERLIN, Conn., March 31, 2003 (NYSE: NU) –
On the heels of a winter heating season that saw colder-than-normal weather, high demand, supply challenges and price volatility, natural gas industry pipeline operators, local distribution companies (LDC), energy traders and regulators will gather in Boston this week for a regional LDC Forum to talk about what comes next, especially for the Northeast. Jay Fletcher, manager of Gas Supply for Yankee Gas Services Company, will be part of a panel that will address the effect of these issues on gas buyers – those who are responsible for balancing supply with demand, even when the market is riding a daily rollercoaster. “The LDC Forum – Winter of 2003” will be held April 3-4 at the Westin Copley Place, Boston, MA. Yankee Gas, part of the Northeast Utilities system, is Connecticut’s largest natural gas distribution company serving 191,000 customers in 70 communities.
“Having survived an unexpectedly turbulent winter presents our industry with a formidable challenge in the months to come, as we begin to gear up for next winter. Storage is the lowest it’s been in some time and prices are expected to remain at moderate levels. That’s going to affect customers because the days of $2 gas are long gone,” said Fletcher. “At the same time, we need to look ahead to the future and figure out how we’re going to address supply in general. Without the development of new resources, we can’t expect to see much relief from price volatility, especially if demand continues its upward growth pattern. Time is of the essence.”
Fletcher also predicts liquefied natural gas (LNG) will play an increasingly important role, especially in the northeast. “LNG imports will likely have to increase if we’re going to meet demand and keep prices stable for our customers; having it available as part of our supply mix is becoming increasingly crucial. Yankee’s plan to build a 2 Bcf LNG storage and production facility is one example of the long-term planning that’s needed. But we have at least three more heating seasons to get through without it, before it’s in service. That’s our challenge.” Currently, LNG accounts for 15 percent of New England’s supply, but during peak demand periods, it increases to about 25 percent.
This view is shared by many industry experts. In December 2002, the American Gas Association (AGA) released a study,
From the Ground Up: America’s Natural Gas Supply Challenge,
concluding that developing new gas resources is critical to long-term economic growth, environmental protection and stable energy prices. The AGA study also calls for public policy changes to allow for expansion of production, pipeline and local delivery infrastructure needed to deliver those resources to market.
“We have a responsibility to ensure a reliable, affordable natural gas supply to meet our customers’ demands,” said Fletcher. “To do that, we have to rethink our policies for resource development and infrastructure expansions to deliver it where it’s needed.”
The full AGA study can be found online at
. More information about “The LDC Forum – Winter 2003” can be found at
Yankee Energy System, Inc., (YES) which is part of the Northeast Utilities system, includes Yankee Gas Services Company, the largest natural gas distribution company in Connecticut serving approximately 191,000 customers in 70 cities and towns throughout the state. Yankee Energy also includes Yankee Energy Financial Services Company, which provides a full range of residential and commercial energy equipment financing options. Further information about YES can be obtained from its Web sites:
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