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COMPANIES DEVELOPING COMPUTERIZED TRADING SYSTEM TO STREAMLINE CASH-MARKET NATURAL GAS TRADES

 TULSA, Okla., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Williams Energy Ventures, Inc., a unit of The Williams Cos. Inc. (NYSE: WMB), announced that it will join with a unit of Westcoast Energy Inc. to develop a computerized system that will streamline cash-market trading of natural gas in North America.
 The PC-accessed trading system -- to be known as "Streamline" in U.S. markets -- will improve the efficiency of the cash market for natural gas, said Bob Purgason, director of information services for Williams Energy Ventures.
 "Streamline is designed to increase the reliability and efficiency of cash-market natural gas trades through a system of contractual guarantees for delivery and financial performance," Purgason said. "Streamline will bring virtually real-time price discovery and coverage in the United States and Canada to a market that now is driven by the number of telephone calls individual traders can make to shop a deal."
 Streamline will handle cash-market natural gas transactions from the time traders enter a buy/sell position onto the network, through matching and credit checking to contract administration and physical delivery at a marketing hub. All trades on the interactive system will be performed with traders' anonymity intact.
 Streamline also provides virtually real-time price discovery on a region-specific basis, by marketing hub. Subscribers to Streamline's PC- based network will see all open positions in its electronic marketplace.
 Williams Energy Ventures plans to preview Streamline in September at the Natural Gas Transportation Association convention in Nashville.
 Streamline is scheduled to go on line by the end of 1993 with initial service at the Carthage, Texas, hub operated by East Texas Gas Systems, a majority-owned affiliate of Union Pacific Fuels, Inc. The Carthage Hub, in operation since 1990, provides interconnects with 14 pipelines (six interstate and eight intrastate) that supply gas markets coast-to-coast. Estimated daily gas production in the Carthage area totals 1 billion cubic feet of gas.
 Initial service in Canada, scheduled to go on line by year-end, will be the Intra-Alberta Hub, located on NOVA Pipeline's system in Alberta.
 Williams Energy Ventures and the Westcoast Energy subsidiary are aggressively pursuing bringing other hubs on line with the trading system.
 Williams Energy Ventures is focused on developing entrepreneurial businesses. The company, formed in April 1993, already is providing a range of computer-based information services, ranging from training to a real-time network for cash-market trading of petroleum liquids.
 The Williams Cos. is a $5 billion energy and telecommunications corporation. Williams operates more than 27,000 miles of pipelines and the nation's fourth-largest fiber-optic telecommunications network.
 -0- 8/31/93
 /CONTACT: Kerry Malone of The Williams Cos. Inc., 918/588-2110; Peter Krenkel of Westcoast Energy Inc., 403/974-1700/


CO: Williams Energy Ventures Inc.; The Williams Cos. Inc. ST: Oklahoma IN: OIL CPR SU: JVN

PK -- SF006 -- 7506 08/31/93 12:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 31, 1993
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