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CUSTOMER SIGNED; OPEN SEASON TO BEGIN FOR AVOCA NATURAL GAS STORAGE SERVICES

 BOSTON, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Avoca Natural Gas Storage Project announced yesterday that Orange and Rockland Utilities (NYSE: ORU) (O&R) has executed a precedent agreement for storage services from its facility proposed to be located in Avoca, Steuben County, New York. Orange and Rockland, a gas and electric utility based in Rockland County, N.Y., will purchase 55 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) of firm storage deliverability commencing with the 1995-96 winter heating season.
 Orange and Rockland chose Avoca Natural Gas Storage because the project is best suited to meet its diverse needs in an increasingly competitive gas market. The location and timing of the Project allows O&R to reshape its gas supply portfolio to better match its load profile. Patrick J. Chambers, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Orange and Rockland, stated, "Avoca's services allow us to phase in injection and high volume deliverability services over time to meet our projected load growth." Chambers added, "Avoca's close proximity to our market area enables us to more cost-effectively meet the needs of our customers, reduce supplier reservation fees, and improve our capability to manage capacity release opportunities on a year-round basis." O&R also sees Avoca as providing substantial load balancing flexibility in meeting its gas sales requirements.
 Jim Leonard, senior vice president of J. Makowski Company, said the signing confirms the competitive benefits of the Avoca Project and the need for market-area storage in the post Order No. 636 environment. Leonard noted, "O&R demonstrated keen foresight in sorting out new opportunities and strategically planning to capitalize on change. Companies like O&R, which are responding quickly to the restructuring of the gas industry, will be more competitive, and hence more profitable, in the long-run."
 Negotiations with several other potential customers of Avoca are continuing and the Project will hold an Open Season from Jan. 31 through Feb. 28, 1994, to finalize its customer base. Avoca's Open Season is designed to coincide with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company's request for shipper interest in its system expansion program to serve Northeast markets. In early December, the Project plans to file its application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for authorization to construct and operate the storage facility.
 The Avoca Natural Gas Storage Project will be the first high- deliverability, natural gas storage facility in the U.S. Northeast. The overall project project design calls for the firm service provision of up to approximately 500 MMcf per day of deliverability over a 10-day period, and customers will be able to reinject their entire storage inventory in just 22 days. The Avoca facility is located directly on Tennessee Gas Pipeline system facilities. This advantage permits both forward and backhaul services to New England, New York and New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and Ohio markets.
 Partners in the Avoca Natural Gas Storage Project currently include J. Makowski Company, Equitrans, an Equitable Resources company, Natural Gas Clearinghouse, Texaco Gas Marketing Inc., and Trillium Gas Storage, Inc., an affiliate of Union Gas Limited.
 -0- 11/23/93 R
 /CONTACT: Kathleen Daugherty or Jim Driscoll of J. Makowski Company, 617-227-8080/
 (ORU)


CO: J. Makowski Company, Inc.; The Avoca Natural Gas Storage Project
 Orange and Rockland Utilities ST: Massachusetts IN: OIL UTI SU:


DJ-DD -- NE015R -- 7081 11/23/93 07:11 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 23, 1993
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