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News Release
Natural Gas Companies Forecast No Increase in Gas Prices This Coming Winter
June 29, 2010 (2010-015)
Contacts:  Ray Baum, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Susan Ackerman, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR. Oregonians can expect to see little change in the price they pay for natural gas this coming winter and some may pay slightly less. That was the message provided to the Oregon Public Utility Commission today during its annual Natural Gas Price Outlook meeting.
“Oregon’s three natural gas companies told us that compared with the double-digit decreases we saw a year ago that prices should remain about the same. I see this as good news for households and businesses that may still be hurting from the effects of our weak economy,” Commission Chairman Ray Baum said.
NW Natural, which serves northwest Oregon, told the Commissioners prices paid by their customers should remain unchanged to slightly lower.
Avista Utilities predicted a range of no change to a 5 percent drop. Avista serves portions of southwest and northeastern Oregon.  Cascade Natural Gas serves Central Oregon in the Bend region and parts of Northeast Oregon. The Cascade representative told the Commission prices will likely remain unchanged and could be slightly lower.
The Commission heard that the demand for natural gas, especially in the industrial sector, remains weak. And supply has been bolstered with the discovery of shale gas deposits and advances in drilling technologies.
About 740,000 Oregonians receive natural gas from one of the three companies.  
Oregon’s natural gas comes through pipelines from gas fields in Canada and the Rocky Mountain region.