CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission & Duke Energy Gas Transmission announce exceptional open season interest in Southeast U.S. pipeline project - Duke Energy

News Release
Feb. 2, 2006

CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission & Duke Energy Gas Transmission announce exceptional open season interest in Southeast U.S. pipeline project

Companies move to negotiate definitive agreements with shippers

HOUSTON –  CenterPoint Energy Gas Transmission (CEGT) and Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT) today announced that their recently completed “Southeast Supply Header” open season drew significant response from potential shippers interested in obtaining capacity in the companies’ proposed southeastern U.S. natural gas pipeline project.

As a result of the successful open season, the companies are projecting the capacity of the potential new pipeline to be approximately 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) with an in-service date as early as mid-2008. The companies now will proceed with negotiating definitive agreements with the prospective shippers. Also, CEGT and DEGT are proceeding towards the formation of a new joint venture for this project and upon completion of negotiations, the companies plan to move forward with implementing the project.

CEGT, an indirect, wholly-owned interstate natural gas pipeline subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP), and DEGT, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), previously announced the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding to explore this opportunity.

The Southeast Supply Header would link supply from east Texas and north Louisiana basins to growing U.S. southeast and northeast markets. It will extend from CEGT's Perryville Hub in northeast Louisiana to DEGT's partially owned affiliate pipeline, Gulfstream Natural Gas System, a distance of about 250 miles. The proposed route will cross and interconnect with major interstate pipelines serving the eastern United States that are not currently served at the Perryville Hub.

The Southeast Supply Header will allow customers to access the growing production from natural gas basins in east Texas and north Louisiana, which will provide an important alternative onshore supply source for markets in the U.S. southeast and northeast. The pipeline also will serve as an important link for traditional Gulf supply and developing re-gasified liquefied natural gas (LNG) volumes.

“We are pleased at the exceptional response to our open season,” said Guy Buckley, group vice president, southeast transportation and storage, DEGT. “The Southeast Supply Header will provide a critical link between expanding southeast and eastern markets and growing supply basins. Connecting expanding domestic onshore resources to serve these markets provides an opportunity for both DEGT and CEGT to grow our businesses with existing and new customers.”

 “The strong support of this open season is a clear indication of the superior value proposition represented by our highly liquid Perryville Hub,” said Cy Zebot, senior vice president and chief commercial officer of CEGT. “We’re excited about working with DEGT to provide producers and shippers on our system access to the expanding markets in the Southeast, particularly Florida.”

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

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and sales, and interstate pipeline and gathering operations. The company serves nearly five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total approximately $16 billion.  With more than 9,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years.  For more information, visit the Web site at http://www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The statements in this news release regarding future events and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Although CenterPoint Energy and Duke Energy believe that their respective expectations of future events as set forth in this release are based on reasonable assumptions, neither CenterPoint Energy nor Duke Energy can give assurance that anticipated results will be achieved or that anticipated events will occur. Actual events and results may differ materially from those projected. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements of CenterPoint Energy herein are discussed in CenterPoint Energy's and its subsidiaries Form 10-Ks for the period ended Dec. 31, 2004, and Form 10-Qs for the periods ended March 31, June 30 and Sept. 30, 2005, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements of Duke Energy herein are discussed in Duke Energy's Form 10-Q for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2005, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact: Alicia Dixon -- CenterPiont Energy Media Contact
Phone: 713/207-5885
24-Hour Phone: n/a
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Contact: Marianne Paulsen -- CenterPoint Energy Investors Contact
Phone: 713/207-6500
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Contact: Danny Gibbs -- Duke Energy Media Contact
Phone: 713/627-4060
24-Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
e-mail: dpgibbs@duke-energy.com