Duke Energy Gas Transmission Receives Continuing Excellence Award from EPA - Duke Energy

News Release
October 26, 2005

Duke Energy Gas Transmission Receives Continuing Excellence Award from EPA

HOUSTON -- Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT) has received a 2005 Natural Gas STAR Continuing Excellence Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The award was given on Oct. 25 in recognition of DEGT’s ongoing efforts to reduce methane released into the atmosphere during the course of standard natural gas transportation operations. Methane is the primary component of natural gas.

DEGT’s U.S. transmission and storage business first entered the Natural Gas STAR program in 2000 and received a “Transmission Partner of the Year” award from EPA in 2002 after only one year of eligibility.

Methane can escape during pipeline venting and repair or, to a lesser extent, from valves and seals at compressor stations. DEGT uses four methods to reduce emissions:  hot taps for new connections, sleeve repairs, pipeline pull downs and emergency shutdown practices.

Since the company’s original Natural Gas STAR recognition -- when it achieved 535 MMcf (million cubic feet) of avoided methane emissions in 2001 -- DEGT has reported avoided annual methane emissions of 931 MMcf in 2002; 1,030 MMcf in 2003; and 1,479 MMcf in 2004. In 2004 alone, the avoided methane emissions resulted in estimated cost savings of $8.9 million.

“We appreciate EPA’s recognition of our ongoing efforts to reduce methane emissions,” said Martha Wyrsch, president and chief executive officer of DEGT. “We are honored and proud to be known as good environmental stewards. Our efforts have also benefited our customers, saving money by reducing the amount of natural gas that in the past might have been lost during the transportation process.”

From 1993 to 2004, DEGT has quantified methane emission reduction of almost 7 billion cubic feet.

Membership in the Natural Gas STAR program is voluntary; about 100 natural gas-related companies are members.

DEGT’s methods of reducing methane emissions:

Hot taps
The method resulting in the highest emission reduction for DEGT -- hot taps -- is used to connect a pipeline lateral to a mainline without shutting down the mainline. A connector tap is welded to the pipeline and then a hole is bored into the mainline so that gas will flow through the connector into the lateral – while it continues to flow along the mainline.

Sleeve repairs
A “sleeve” is a steel or composite wrap that is welded, bolted or otherwise attached to the pipeline. A sleeve is an acceptable alternative repair method to pipe replacement for some anomalies.

Emergency shutdowns
Annual emergency shutdown tests are conducted per Department of Transportation regulations at DEGT facilities without venting natural gas to the atmosphere. The technicians accomplish this feat by capping the blowdown vents.

Pipeline pulldowns
In some areas along DEGT’s system – most prevalently along Texas Eastern Transmission – more than one of the company’s pipelines can lie near one another in the same easement. In this case, DEGT temporarily connects two parallel pipelines, redirecting the natural gas from the pipeline scheduled for maintenance into an adjacent DEGT pipeline rather than venting it to atmosphere.

“We receive no monetary incentives from EPA to perform these emission reductions,” Wyrsch said. “However, implementing cost-effective measures to reduce the amount of natural gas otherwise vented to the atmosphere is good for our business. Our participation in the Natural Gas STAR program further builds our relationship with EPA and demonstrates our commitment to environmental stewardship.”

Duke Energy Gas Transmission is a North American leader in developing natural gas energy infrastructure, connecting major natural gas supply sources to growing markets. Based in Houston, Texas, the company’s assets and operations include more than 17,500 miles of transmission pipeline and 250 billion cubic feet of storage capacity in Canada and the United States along with significant gathering, processing, distribution and natural gas liquids operations that are among the largest in Canada. More information on DEGT can be found at:  http://www.degt.duke-energy.com.

Duke Energy is a diversified energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses, both regulated and unregulated, and an affiliated real estate company. Duke Energy supplies, delivers and processes energy for customers in the Americas. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: http://www.duke-energy.com.

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