News Release
April 16, 1998


CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 16, 1998 -- Duke Energy Corporation’s (NYSE: DUK) top executive said today that the strong array of assets and people Duke Energy has assembled puts it in an enviable position in the energy field.

Richard Priory, Duke Energy and chief executive officer, told 300 people at the company’s annual meeting that an eventful 1997 has allowed Duke to craft a strong position for itself in the energy industry while other companies continue to sort out what the future may look like.

"In contrast to many electric or gas companies, we are well beyond the stage of developing strategies," said Priory. "We are fully engaged, on every front, in developing the businesses that will produce for our shareholders meaningful, long-term growth in value."

Held at its corporate headquarters, the annual meeting was the first for Duke Energy. In June 1997, Duke Power Co. completed its merger with Houston-based PanEnergy Corp. The merger formed one of the nation’s largest 100 companies - with more than $16 billion in 1997 revenues and a market capitalization of more than $20 billion.

Priory added that by spending much of 1997 getting merger approval and dealing with merger-related and restructuring costs Duke Energy has managed to elevate itself above the rest of the energy field.

"We have now clearly separated ourselves from the pack," he said.

Since the merger was approved, Duke Energy has embarked on an aggressive growth campaign that has resulted in more than $1.3 billion in new projects. In addition, the company is building power plants domestically and abroad and is expanding its natural gas pipeline network. Priory said that this growth in shareholder value, these investments, plus Duke’s expanding array of energy services, along with our continued emphasis on efficiency and customer service, will be key to the company’s future results.

Along with that, the energy industry is going through a major restructuring -- with many of the industry’s regulated rules slowly being phased out. Priory said that, contrary to some, Duke Energy views this change as an opportunity.

"Any time an industry and its markets undergo significant change, there are significant opportunities," he said. "We are confident that our skills and assets, along with our strong determination to succeed, will place many of these opportunities well within our reach."

Duke Energy Corporation is a global energy company with more than $20 billion in assets. Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately 2 million customers; operate pipelines that deliver 12 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Globally the companies develop, own and operate energy facilities and provide engineering, management, operating and environmental services. Contact Duke Energy on the World Wide Web at

Contact: Randy Wheeless
Phone: 704-382-8379
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333