News Release
Jan. 04, 2000

DUKE ENERGY TO PURCHASE EAST TENNESSEE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE FROM EL PASO ENERGY

HOUSTON -- Duke Energy Gas Transmission has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase 100 percent of the stock of East Tennessee Natural Gas Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of El Paso Energy Corporation, for $386.3 million. The 1,100-mile pipeline crosses the Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation (TETCO) pipeline, owned by Duke Energy. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter, 2000, subject to Federal Trade Commission consent.

"The East Tennessee Pipeline is an excellent fit with Duke Energy’s natural gas transmission system," said Robert Evans, president of Duke Energy Gas Transmission. "It extends the reach of our 9,220-mile TETCO pipeline and allows us to access a vibrant gas market in a key strategic region of the country for Duke Energy. East Tennessee Natural Gas Company operates an excellent pipeline with long-term customer contracts and an established record of year on year growth. It is a terrific addition to Duke Energy’s pipeline system."

East Tennessee owns and operates two mainline systems in central Tennessee that converge near Knoxville, Tenn., extending thereafter to a point near Roanoke, Va. The pipeline, regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has a design capacity of 700 MMCF/d and provides unbundled, open-access transportation and storage services to 40 local distribution companies and 16 industrial customers in the region.

"The acquisition of East Tennessee demonstrates Duke Energy’s global energy merchant strategy and our ability to acquire -- or divest -- assets as market opportunities change," commented Fred Fowler, group president, Energy Transmission. "Duke Energy businesses are top tier performers serving the entire energy value chain. The acquisition of East Tennessee provides us access to an important, growing market for our energy businesses."

Duke Energy owns and operates natural gas pipelines in the eastern United States, known as Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation, Algonquin Gas Transmission Company, and with other partners, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. These companies deliver seven percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is a global energy company with more than $29 billion in assets. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the company reaches into more than 50 countries, producing energy, transporting energy, marketing energy and providing energy services. In the United States, Duke Energy companies provide electric service to approximately two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina; operate interstate pipelines that deliver natural gas to various regions of the country; and are leading marketers of electricity, natural gas and natural gas liquids. Additional information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com

Contact: Gail Schwindeman Schutz
Phone: 704-627-4060
24 Hour Phone: 704-594-0681
Email: gbschutz@duke-energy.com