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Natural Gas Outlook Foresees Higher Prices This Fall



July 9, 2014 (2014-14)
Contacts: Susan Ackerman, Chair, 503 378-6611, Stephen Bloom, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611, Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR. Natural gas prices are likely headed higher this fall according to officials with Oregon’s three regulated natural gas providers. That was the message they delivered to the Commission during the annual Gas Outlook Meeting on July 8, 2014.
Pressure is being put on natural gas prices by an extremely cold winter that has depleted reserves, and a shift to natural gas from coal to generate electricity said company officials.
“We are at our lowest gas storage levels since 2003,” said NW Natural’s Randy Friedman.
NW Natural expects their increase in middle single digits. Avista Utilities predicts an increase of 8 to 10 percent. And Cascade Natural Gas said it should be in the same range as the others.
Oregon’s natural gas companies get their supplies of gas from Canada and the Rocky Mountain region.
Each year the Commission reviews the gas costs proposed for recovery from core customers by each Oregon gas company both to ensure the costs are reasonable and prudent, and that the company has taken all actions available to it to keep these costs as low and stable as possible. If the Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) functions as designed each core customer pays only actual gas costs, with no mark-up or profit for the company.
Oregon’s natural gas companies will send their requests to the Commission August 1, 2014. After the Commission evaluates the requests, new rates will take effect November 1, 2014.