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News Release
Commission to Receive Natural Gas Price Outlook Forecast
July 17, 2006 (2006 - 012)
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR – The Oregon Public Utility Commission will hold its annual “Natural Gas Outlook” July 20, 2006, in the Commission’s main hearing room at 550 Capitol Street in Salem.  The Commission will receive a briefing from a wide range of experts regarding the short and long term outlooks for natural gas prices for home heating, industry, and for generation of electricity.
Officials from Oregon’s three natural gas distribution companies will be among those scheduled to share their insights with the Commission.
The three natural gas companies in Oregon combined serve about 630,000 customers.  They are Northwest Natural Gas, Avista Utilities and Cascade Natural Gas.
The Commission adjusts each company’s rates either up or down in October to reflect changes in the wholesale price of natural gas.  The Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) passes through to customers increases or decreases in the utility’s cost of buying gas for the upcoming year.  It also addresses differences between forecasted gas costs in the previous year with actual costs.  The companies make no profit from these adjustments.
2006 Oregon PUC Natural Gas Outlook Meeting Agenda
July 20, 2006
9:30 AM
Main Hearing Room
“Uncertainty and Volatility”
  1. Summary overview of natural gas for the summer of 2006 and winter of 2006-2007 in the Northwest.
            Ken Zimmerman (Staff)
            About 15 minutes.
  1. LDC Panel - Natural gas demand, supply, and price through March 2007
            Northwest Natural Gas Company (Randy Friedman)
            Avista Utilities (Jason Thackston)
            Cascade Natural Gas (Pattie Grable)
            Northwest Gas Association (Dan Kirschner)
Topics:  Demand (US and NW), Supply (US and NW), Price (US and NW) through the end of winter 2006-2007, impacts of natural gas price changes on customer bills, and LDC strategies for addressing price and price volatility.
About 30 minutes.
  1. Pipeline/Storage capacity overview for the US and Northwest.
            Ken Zimmerman (Staff)
            About 15 minutes.
  1. LNG Panel - LNG in the Northwest
            Jordon Cove (Robert L. Braddock)
            Northern Star representative
            Port Westward representative (TBA)
Topics:  Current development status, how LNG could/will help the Northwest, and the expected price of LNG for the Northwest.
About 30 minutes.