News Release
Feb. 10, 2000

Duke Energy and Williams Strike Deal to Develop Buccaneer Gas Pipeline Project

HOUSTON — Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) and Williams (NYSE:WMB) today announced that they have entered into a 50/50 ownership agreement to jointly develop, construct and operate the Buccaneer Gas Pipeline Project which will transport clean-burning natural gas to emerging markets in Florida.

"We are very pleased to welcome Duke Energy to the Buccaneer team. This significant collaboration brings together the considerable capabilities of two of the top energy companies in America," said Cuba Wadlington Jr., president and chief executive officer, Williams Gas Pipeline. "This dynamic combination clearly places the Buccaneer Gas Pipeline Project in the forefront of projects currently proposed to meet Florida’s natural gas needs."

Duke Energy’s president of Gas Transmission Robert B. Evans added, "Taking a major role in this significant energy project is a noteworthy step for Duke Energy. In partnering with Williams, a respected industry leader, we rapidly accelerate Duke Energy’s entry into Florida’s ripe-for-competition natural gas marketplace. The move also solidifies a major team effort by two major energy service providers to meet that state’s growing needs for this clean-burning fuel."

The 674-mile Buccaneer Gas Pipeline system will traverse the Gulf of Mexico and come ashore on Florida’s western coast. The pipeline is designed to deliver 900,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day to power generation facilities and other natural gas users located throughout the state. The $1.5 billion project was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 28, 1999. With today’s announcement, Buccaneer now has firm commitments for over 50 percent of the project’s total capacity.

Today’s announcement is not expected to have an impact on Buccaneer’s schedule which calls for construction to begin in January 2001 and the project to be placed into service as early as April 2002.

Buccaneer representatives have held hundreds of meetings with residents, community leaders and public officials from across the proposed route since January 1999. The purpose of these meetings is to solicit public input to ensure that the Buccaneer Gas Pipeline maximizes the benefits to Florida and its citizens while minimizing the impact to property owners and the environment. Buccaneer will continue to work closely with all stakeholders throughout the approval, permitting and construction phases of the pipeline.

For more information about the project, visit the project web site at www.buccaneer.twc.com.

Duke Energy, a premier global energy services company, serves customers and creates shareholder value through an integrated network of energy assets and energy experts. As market leaders in their respective fields, Duke Energy businesses manage a multi-national portfolio of energy supply, delivery and trading assets valued at approximately $30 billion. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

Williams’ gas pipeline unit has headquarters in Houston with offices in Salt Lake City and Owensboro, Ky. Together, its five interstate natural gas pipelines are among the nation’s largest-volume transporters of natural gas, delivering approximately 16 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States. Its 27,300-mile pipeline network stretches from coast to coast with access to every major supply basin in the country.

Williams, through its subsidiaries, provides a full range of traditional and leading-edge energy and communications services. Williams information is available at www.williams.com

Portions of this document may constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined by federal law. Although the company believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the "safe harbor" protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the company’s annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact: Chris Stockton (Williams)
Phone: 713-215-2010
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
Email: media_relations@duke-energy.com
Contact: Rick Rhodes (Duke Energy)
Phone: 704-382-3747
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
Email: jrrhodes@duke-energy.com