News Release
Feb. 23, 2000

Buccaneer Pipeline Signs Letter of Intent with Saipem Inc./EMC, Ltd.

HOUSTON – Buccaneer Gas Pipeline, L.L.C., a joint pipeline development of Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) and Williams (NYSE:WMB), announced today that it has signed a letter of intent with the joint venture Saipem Inc./European Marine Contractors Ltd. to assist during the design stage and oversee construction of the offshore portion of the Buccaneer Gas Pipeline project. The proposed pipeline would provide up to 900 million cubic feet per day of natural gas transportation capacity to Florida markets.

Under the terms of the agreement, Saipem/EMC will provide engineering support during the design phase and construct approximately 400 miles of 36-inch diameter pipeline from the coast of Alabama to the western coast of Florida. The pipeline will be installed in water depths ranging from approximately 20 feet up to 500 feet. Detailed engineering work for the project commenced in January 2000.

"Saipem/EMC is a recognized leader in deepwater pipeline construction," said David Dean, vice president of technical services for Williams’ gas pipeline unit. "We will be drawing on their extensive expertise to design and construct a safe, environmentally sound pipeline system between Alabama and Florida."

Guido Giorgi, general manager of EMC said, "having been the main contractor on many of the significant offshore gas trunkline systems in Europe and Southeast Asia, we are pleased to be working with Williams and Duke Energy on this major gas pipeline project in the United States."

The 674-mile Buccaneer Gas Pipeline system will traverse the Gulf of Mexico and come ashore on Florida’s western coast. The $1.5 billion project was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Oct. 28, 1999. 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 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: Paula Delaney (Williams)
Phone: 713-215-4263
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
Email: media_relations@duke-energy.com
Contact: Jose Cox (Duke Energy
Phone: 713-627-5008
24 Hour Phone: 704-382-8333
Email: jrcox@duke-energy.com