News Release
Oct. 24, 2000

DUKE ENERGY GAS TRANSMISSION ANNOUNCES NEW PIPELINETO SERVE SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA

Patriot Extension Part of East Tennessee Natural Gas System

HOUSTON – Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT) today announced plans to expand its East Tennessee Natural Gas system by building a 95-mile extension from Virginia into North Carolina. The Patriot Extension will bring natural gas service to portions of southwest Virginia for the first time and introduce a competitive supply of natural gas to North Carolina from Appalachian and Gulf Coast producers.

The extension is the centerpiece of a $215 million project by DEGT, the Houston-based division of Duke Energy responsible for the company’s interstate natural gas pipeline operations. The extension will originate from the East Tennessee system in Wythe County, Va., cross Carroll, Patrick and Henry counties in Virginia and terminate in Rockingham County, N.C.

The 24-inch diameter pipeline will be coupled with East Tennessee system mainline enhancements to initially transport 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day beginning in fall 2002. The pipeline extension is expandable, in increments, to 600 million cubic feet per day.

The Patriot Extension is designed to help meet the annual 4 percent natural gas growth in the region currently being driven by strong demand for natural gas-fired electric generation.

"Our discussions with potential Virginia and North Carolina customers showed a strong need for additional natural gas supplies, supply diversity, transportation and competition in the region," said DEGT President Robert B. Evans. He added that DEGT is building new relationships with storage providers and local producers who will provide significantly increased natural gas supplies into the East Tennessee system from the Appalachian area.

"While most of the Appalachian production has traditionally gone to the Northeast, local producers are now seeing value in the southeast market and are planning infrastructure additions accordingly," Evans said. "This enhanced supply and extended market reach strategy was contemplated when we purchased East Tennessee less than a year ago."

As part of its new initiative, East Tennessee also plans a mainline expansion between the Patriot Extension and Texas Eastern Transmission Corp., a pipeline system also owned by DEGT. This will provide Patriot Extension customers with an additional Gulf Coast natural gas supply option.

"This initiative will result in a 30-percent increase in East Tennessee’s peak-day delivery capability by 2002," Evans said. "To accomplish this, we pledge to work with citizens and communities to safely build and operate the Patriot Extension project and mainline expansion. Our company is committed to supplying natural gas in a safe and environmentally friendly manner."

DEGT will conduct formal shipper meetings over the next two months and conclude with a binding open season for capacity in the Patriot Extension, leading to a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by the end of first quarter 2001.

East Tennessee Natural Gas owns and operates two mainline systems in central Tennessee that converge near Knoxville, Tenn., and extend to a point near Roanoke, Va. The system has a current design capacity of more than 700 million cubic feet per day and provides unbundled, open-access transportation and storage services to 40 local distribution companies and 16 industrial companies in the region.

Duke Energy Gas Transmission manages 12,000 miles of natural gas pipelines including East Tennessee Natural Gas Co., Texas Eastern Transmission Corp., Algonquin Gas Transmission Co. and with other partners, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline. DEGT also owns natural gas salt cavern facilities in Texas and Louisiana with a total storage capacity of 23 billion cubic feet.

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational 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.

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A map showing the proposed Patriot Extension can be viewed at:

http://www.duke-energy.com/internet/newscenter/PatriotMap.jpg

 

Contact: Gretchen D. Krueger
Phone: 713/627-4072
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: gdkrueger@duke-energy.com