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EL PASO NATURAL GAS 'BBB+' NOTES, DEBENTURES ON FITCHALERT POSITIVE -- FITCH FINANCIAL WIRE --

 NEW YORK, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- El Paso Natural Gas Co.'s (EPNG) 'BBB+' notes and debentures are placed on FitchAlert with positive implications.
 Fitch is conducting a comprehensive assessment of EPNG's current and prospective credit fundamentals. Under consideration are several present and expected EPNG strengths. These include a conservative balance sheet and a low-cost interstate natural gas transmission network which is well positioned to compete in the post-FERC-Order-636 unbundled service environment. EPNG's geographic position enables it to transport gas into Northern Mexico at competitive rates. Also, forecasts suggest a five-year pattern of internal cash generation closely corresponding to planned capital spending. Management strategy focuses exclusively on core natural-gas-related businesses.
 These is some nearer-term concern about EPNG's exposure and expansion into sizable California gas markets. An ongoing economic slowdown in California temporarily dampened gas consumption. Competition to transport gas into traditional and emerging natural gas markets markedly increased. Mitigating this concern are EPNG's competitive cost advantage as a transporter and recent implementation of "straight-fixed-variable rate designs" sanctioned under FERC Order 636.
 -0- 4/21/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Stellenwerf, CPA of Fitch, 212-908-0558/
 (EPG)


CO: El Paso Natural Gas Co. ST: Texas IN: OIL SU: RTG

KD -- NY039 -- 8597 04/21/93 10:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 21, 1993
Words:203
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