Released By Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. News Release
Dec. 12, 2002

PACIFIC NORTHERN GAS ANNOUNCES DECLARATION OF SPECIAL COMMON DIVIDEND

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. (PNG) announced today that the Board of Directors declared a special dividend of $2.75 per share on its Class A and Class B Common Shares, payable January 23, 2003 to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 9, 2003.  The special dividend is a result of a new $15 million long-term loan facility, announced on November 28, 2002 and which has now been completed.  The special dividend represents a payment to the common shareholders of approximately $10 million and will result in a capital structure that is more closely aligned with that approved by the Company’s regulator.

 

The Company suspended payment of common share dividends in 2000 in response to liquidity issues due in part to the maturity of its 2002 Series Debentures, as well as high natural gas commodity costs in late 2000 and early 2001.  Since then, the Company has successfully reorganized to reduce capital and operating costs, has refinanced the Series 2002 Debentures, and executed a new seven year gas transportation services agreement with Methanex Corporation, a customer that accounts for approximately 60 percent of annual deliveries. 

 

The Company anticipates that quarterly dividends will be reinstated commencing in the first quarter of 2003, although the Board of Directors has made no decision on the quantum of future dividends.

 

Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. (TSE:PNG.A/ PNG.PR.A) owns and operates natural gas transmission and distribution systems.  The Company’s western transmission line extends from the Duke Energy Gas Transmission (formerly Westcoast Energy) system north of Prince George to tidewater at Kitimat and Prince Rupert, and provides service to 12 communities and a number of industrial facilities.  In the northeast, Pacific Northern’s subsidiary Pacific Northern Gas (N.E.) Ltd. provides gas distribution service in the Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Tumbler Ridge areas. Further information is available on the Company’s Web site at: www.pacificnortherngas.com.

 

Contact: Elizabeth A. Fletcher, C.A.; Treasurer & Comptroller
Phone: 604/691-5684
24 Hour Phone: n/a
Email: efletche@duke-energy.com