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ALL BUSINESS SEGMENTS CONTRIBUTE TO IMPROVED FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS ANNOUNCED BY COLUMBIA GAS SYSTEM

 WILMINGTON, Del., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The Columbia Gas System, Inc., (NYSE: CG) today announced that improved operating results by each of its business segments contributed to the company's first quarter net income of $139.8 million, or $2.77 per share.
 This compares to $10.8 million, or 21 cents per share, during the same period in 1992.
 Columbia Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Robert A. Oswald said that during the first three months of 1993 Columbia's oil and gas segment benefited from higher wellhead prices and increased production, distribution segment throughput was helped by colder temperatures, and the transmission segment was aided by its new rate design.
 Oswald said that although much of the $129 million quarter-to- quarter increase reflects unusual items including bankruptcy related issues, when both periods are normalized, this year's first quarter's earnings are $89 million, a $0.34 per share increase over last year's adjusted first quarter results of $71.6 million.
 Included in the unusual items was an after-tax income improvement of $13.2 million this quarter for a change in reserves to reflect the outcome of rate cases relating to Columbia's transmission segment. The comparison also reflects the effects of an $83.4 million after-tax writedown of the company's carrying value of its oil and gas properties and the establishment of a $9.4 million reserve for a pipeline supplier settlement during the first quarter of 1992.
 Segment Operating Results
 Operating income for the oil and gas segment increased to $19.8 million during the first quarter as compared with an operating loss of $122 million during the same period in 1992, largely due to the $126.4 million pre-tax writedown of the carrying value of the oil and gas properties. During the current quarter, average gas prices increased 36 percent to $2.29 per thousand cubic feet, and average oil and liquids prices increased seven percent to $17.43 per barrel. Gas production increased 11 percent to 19.6 billion cubic feet while oil and liquids production increased 14 percent to 849,000 barrels.
 First quarter operating income for the transmission segment was $88.5 million, a $47.4 million increase over the comparable period in 1992. The current period benefited from the $21.6 million pre-tax reserve adjustment, a change in rate design, reduced expenses associated with storage withdrawals and lower amortization expense for previously capitalized gas costs. During the first quarter of 1992, a $15 million pre-tax reserve was recorded to reflect the settlement of a pipeline supplier dispute. While colder temperatures in the present period resulted in increased transmission throughput, the impact of the weather is lessened by the transmission companies' new rate design that provides for recovery of most non-gas costs through a fixed monthly charge.
 The distribution segment's operating income during the first quarter increased $10.4 million to $111.3 million primarily due to temperatures that were seven percent colder than during the first quarter of 1992. This period's overall throughput increased to 202 billion cubic feet, an eight percent increase over last year. Adversely affecting this improvement is the effect of regulatory lag which delays the recovery of increased operating costs.
 THE COLUMBIA GAS SYSTEM, INC.
 Summary of Financial and Operating Data
 Three months ended March 31 1993 1992
 Income Statement Data ($millions)
 Total Operating Revenue 1,222.6 1,032.2
 Net Income 139.8 10.8
 Operating Income (Loss) By Segment:
 Oil and Gas 19.8 (122.0)
 Transmission 88.5 41.1
 Distribution 111.3 100.9
 Other Energy 5.4 3.1
 Corporate (1.9) (2.0)
 Total 223.1 21.1
 Per Share Data:
 Earnings on Common Stock $2.77 $0.21
 Dividends on Common Stock --- ---
 Average Common Shares Outstanding (millions) 50.6 50.6
 Operating Data
 Oil and Gas Volumes:
 Gas Production (billion cubic feet) 19.6 17.7
 Oil Production (000 barrels) 849 747
 Transmission (billion cubic feet):
 Gas Sales 73.9 57.3
 Transportation:
 LDC & End Users 233.8 232.7
 Short-Haul 149.0 153.9
 Total Transportation 382.8 386.6
 Throughput 456.7 443.9
 Distribution (billion cubic feet):
 Gas Sales 137.9 126.3
 Transportation 64.1 59.9
 Throughput 202.0 186.2


Degree Days-Distribution Service Territory
 Actual 2,865 2,672
 Normal 2,945 2,979
 Percent Colder (warmer) than normal (2.7) (10.3)
 Percent Colder (warmer) than prior period 7.2 3.8
 /delval/
 -0- 5/6/93
 /CONTACT: W.R. McLaughlin, 302-429-5443, or H.W. Chaddock, 302-429-5261, or T.L. Hughes (financial),302-429-5471, all of Columbia Gas/
 (CG)


CO: The Columbia Gas System, Inc. ST: Delaware IN: OIL SU: ERN

MP -- PH034 -- 5510 05/06/93 13:40 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1993
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