News Release
March 27, 2001


HOUSTON – Market Hub Partners (MHP), a unit of Duke Energy Gas Transmission, announced a month-long open season beginning today for customers desiring rapid response natural gas storage services to be developed at MHP’s Copiah salt cavern facility in Mississippi. MHP, acquired by Duke Energy in September 2000, is the largest owner of salt cavern natural gas storage facilities in North America.

The Copiah cavern’s strategic hub location in southwest Mississippi, along with several possible natural gas pipeline interconnects nearby, will provide customers with significant flexibility for hourly nomination swings (changes in customers’ demands). The open season, or invitation for potential customers to express interest in Copiah’s storage services, ends at the close of business on April 25.

Initially, Copiah will offer high deliverability storage services with 3 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of storage capacity, expandable to 9 Bcf. Services affiliated with binding contracts executed as a result of the open season process are scheduled to begin spring 2004. Interstate pipelines near Copiah include Texas Eastern (near Union Church, Miss.), Transco, SONAT and Gulf South Pipeline (formerly known as Koch Gateway). Duke Energy Field Services’ AIM pipeline is nearby as well.

"Market Hub Partners continues to enhance Duke Energy’s interstate pipeline system, enhancements that keep industries working and economies growing," said Gregory Rizzo, president of MHP and vice president of marketing for Duke Energy Gas Transmission. "We are planning and developing new facilities and infrastructure to serve single customers or entire regions. Market Hub Partners’ salt caverns complement Duke Energy’s traditional seasonal storage fields. The development of the Copiah facility will greatly enhance our ability to meet the time-sensitive injection and withdrawal requirements of today’s storage customers."

Duke Energy Gas Transmission owns 12,000 miles of natural gas pipelines including Texas Eastern Transmission Corp., Algonquin Gas Transmission Co. and East Tennessee Natural Gas Co. With others, DEGT also owns Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline and the proposed Gulfstream Natural Gas System. Through Market Hub Partners, DEGT owns natural gas salt cavern facilities with a total storage capacity of 24 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 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:

Contact: Liz Johnson
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