News Release
May 03, 2000

BUCCANEER GAS PIPELINE SIGNS KEY CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTS

HOUSTON – Buccaneer, a joint pipeline development of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) and Williams (NYSE: WMB), has executed agreements with three key suppliers, signaling the commitment by both Duke Energy and Williams to the $1.5 billion project, designed to provide Florida with 900 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

"We have executed agreements with world-class contractors in the industry," said Frank Ferazzi, senior vice president, Buccaneer Gas Pipeline. "Signing these three deals represents a major milestone, finalizing construction logistics for the offshore section of Buccaneer that crosses the Gulf of Mexico."

Completing these deals enables the project to stay on track for a construction start in 2001.

"These contracts are an indication that we are committed to meet the energy needs of the fast-growing state of Florida," said Tom O’Connor, senior vice president, Buccaneer. "Buccaneer will provide the clean-burning natural gas required by Florida for existing and proposed electric generation, local distribution companies and municipal gas systems."

Buccaneer signed a letter of intent with Berg Steel to purchase 36-inch pipe, which will be used for approximately 400 miles of offshore pipeline. The letter of intent provides for pipe production to begin early in third quarter 2000 and to be completed in first quarter 2001.

Buccaneer officials executed a contract with Saipem Inc./European Marine Contractors (EMC) to construct the segment of the 36-inch diameter pipeline that runs across the Gulf of Mexico from Alabama to Florida. The contractor is responsible for constructing the portion of the pipeline that will be installed in water depths ranging from 20 feet down to 500 feet.

"The Saipem/EMC joint venture will bring a wealth of pipelay and subsea experience to the Buccaneer gas pipeline project with one of the most comprehensive and flexible fleet of vessels and associated installation equipment operating globally today," said Guido Giorgi, EMC’s general manager.

Additionally, Buccaneer signed a contract with Bredero-Price for the concrete coating of the pipeline’s offshore portion. Arrangements are being finalized for concrete coating yards in southern Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. Buccaneer, Saipem/EMC and Bredero-Price have developed a logistics plan that provides approximately 400 miles of concrete-coated pipe to the lay vessels to support completion of the offshore installation in 2001. "We have pledged our global resources to this historic project," said Lee Evans, president of Bredero-Price

The 674-mile Buccaneer Gas Pipeline project would extend across the Gulf of Mexico, transporting natural gas from the offshore Alabama area to Florida. The $1.5 billion project was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Oct. 28, 1999, and recently received its Preliminary Determination on Non-Environmental Issues from FERC. For more information about Buccaneer, visit the project web site at www.buccaneergaspipeline.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.

Duke Energy, a diversified multi-national energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses -- generating revenues of nearly $22 billion in 1999. 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.

Contact: Jose Cox
Phone: 713-627-5008
24 Hour Phone: 704-594-0681
Email: mrcox@duke-energy.com
Contact: Paula Delaney Williams
Phone: 713-215-4263
24 Hour Phone: 704-594-0681
Email: media_relations@duke-energy.com