News Release
July 30, 2001


Customer Commitments Significantly Exceed Initial Expectations

HOUSTON – Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT) today announced its East Tennessee Natural Gas (ETNG) subsidiary has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking approval of the Patriot project to meet the growing energy needs of the southeastern United States. The $289 million project will transport natural gas along a new pipeline route – the Patriot Extension – as well as through expansion of the company’s existing ETNG system.

Strong customer response to the Patriot project resulted in ETNG’s commitment to develop a project that will transport 510 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of natural gas. Seven natural gas shippers, representing electric power generators, marketers and local distribution companies, have committed to 87 percent, or 446 MMcf/d, of delivery capacity under long-term contracts – more than double the 200 MMcf/d envisioned when the project was announced last October.

"The significant addition of infrastructure also greatly benefits East Tennessee’s existing customers," said DEGT president Robert B. Evans. "Completing the loop of our southern mainline leg, adding compression to the northern portion in Tennessee and adding large diameter looping in Virginia will considerably enhance the system’s reliability."

ETNG is asking FERC for a preliminary determination by November 15 and a final certificate by March 27, 2002. This schedule will enable ETNG to begin construction in July 2002 to meet the initial May 1, 2003, in-service date. Once approved by FERC, the proposed Patriot project will evolve in three phases, initially having the capacity to transport 130 MMcf/d, increasing to 310 MMcf/d in November 2003 and eventually transporting 510 MMcf/d in January 2004.

"The May 2003 initial in-service date and incremental phasing reflects our flexibility and commitment to meet our customers’ needs and requirements," Evans added. "The Patriot project will increase the reliability of energy supplies by providing additional natural gas supplies, supply diversity and transportation competition to the region."

The Patriot Extension – an approximately 94-mile pipeline from Virginia to North Carolina – 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. A salt cavern natural gas storage facility in Saltville, Va., which is being jointly developed by DEGT and NUI Corp. of Bedminster, N.J., will bring additional value and options to those contracting for natural gas transportation services.

The new 24-inch line will originate from the ETNG system in Wythe County, Va., cross Carroll, Patrick and Henry counties in Virginia and terminate in Rockingham County, N.C. The route also covers a few hundred yards in Floyd County, Va. About seven miles of a lateral pipeline will originate in Rockingham County, cross Pittsylvania County, Va., and end in Henry County, Va.

Expansion of the existing ETNG line, primarily in Tennessee and a portion of southwest Virginia, includes construction of about 85 miles of new 20-inch and 24-inch loops; about 25 miles of 24-inch pipeline relays to replace existing eight-inch pipeline; 77 miles of uprates; five new compressor stations; added compression at six existing compressor stations; and associated mainline valves, piping and appurtenant pipeline facilities.

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 MMcf/d and provides unbundled, open-access transportation and storage services to 40 local distribution companies and 16 industrial companies in the region.

DEGT, the Houston-based Duke Energy business unit responsible for the company’s interstate natural gas pipeline operations, owns and operates 12,000 miles of interstate natural gas pipelines known as Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; Algonquin Gas Transmission Co.; East Tennessee Natural Gas Co.; and with others, owns Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline and Gulfstream Natural Gas System. Together, these companies transport 8 percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States.

DEGT also owns natural gas salt cavern facilities in Texas and Louisiana with a total storage capacity of 24 billion cubic feet, making it one of the largest owners of high-deliverability salt cavern storage facilities in the United States. Other natural gas storage projects in Mississippi and Pennsylvania are currently under development.

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 more than $49 billion in 2000. 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: The Patriot Extension site is located at

Contact: Gretchen Krueger
Phone: 713/627-4072
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333