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COLUMBIA GAS REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS

 COLUMBIA GAS REPORTS FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS
 WILMINGTON, Del., May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Columbia Gas System,


Inc. (NYSE: CG) today reported net income for the first quarter of 1992 of $10.8 million, or 21 cents a share.
 For the same period in 1991, restated net income, reflecting the positive net impact of the adoption of two accounting changes at the end of 1991, was $148.2 million or $2.94 a share. Net income is essentially unchanged from the estimate released at Columbia's annual meeting of stockholders on April 30.
 After adjusting 1991 results for the accounting changes, current income declined $37 million from the previous year. This decline resulted from a 1992 after-tax writedown of $83.4 million in the carrying value of Columbia's U.S. oil and gas properties to reflect depressed oil and gas prices and an after-tax charge for the settlement of a pipeline supplier dispute. This decline was partially offset because Columbia is not recording interest expense on pre-bankruptcy debt obligations which improved net income by $35.5 million and a $13.8 million after-tax writedown in the value of Canadian oil and gas properties in 1991, which have been sold. Columbia and its principal pipeline subsidiary, Columbia Gas Transmission Corp., filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code on July 31, 1991.
 Absent these adjustments, Columbia's net income for the first quarter of 1992 would be about $9 million higher than comparable net income for last year, primarily due to improved operating results in the transmission and distribution segments.
 SEGMENT OPERATING RESULTS
 The oil and gas segment recorded a first quarter operating loss of $122 million (pre-tax), compared to a loss of $4.9 million for the same period last year. The loss was caused by a $126.4 million writedown in the carrying value of the oil and gas properties and by lower prices received for oil and gas production. The writedown, which resulted from the dramatic declines in oil and gas prices, is required under the full cost accounting rules followed by Columbia.
 Transmission operations reported operating income of $41.1 million, a decline of only $5.4 million from the first quarter of 1991, despite a $15 million current period provision for settlement of a pipeline supplier dispute. A combination of colder weather and a more competitive sales rate increased the segment's long-haul throughput by 8 percent.
 Distribution segment rates which went into effect during 1991 and colder weather had a favorable impact on the operating income for the segment, which increased operating income to $100.9 million from $74.8 million in the first quarter 1991. Although temperatures in the distribution segment's operating territory were 4 percent colder than last year, they were still 10 percent warmer than normal.
 THE COLUMBIA GAS SYSTEM, INC.
 Summary of Financial and Operating Data
 Three months ended March 31 1992 1991
 Income Statement Data ($ millions)
 Total Operating Revenues . . . . . . . 1,032.2 982.4
 Income before Accounting Changes . . . . 10.8 47.8
 Net Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.8 148.2(A)
 Operating Income (Loss) By Segment:
 Oil and Gas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (122.0) (4.9)
 Transmission . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41.1 46.5
 Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100.9 74.8
 Other . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.1 0.6
 Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.1 117.0
 Per Share Data
 Income before Accounting Changes ($) . . 0.21 0.95
 Earnings on Common Stock ($) . . . . . . 0.21 2.94(A)
 Dividends on Common Stock ($) . . . . . --- 0.58
 Average Common Shares
 Outstanding (millions) . . . . . . . . 50.6 50.5
 Operating Data
 Oil and Gas Volumes:
 Gas Production (billion cubic feet) . . 17.7 20.3
 Oil Production (000 barrels) . . . . . 747 814
 Transmission (billion cubic feet):
 Gas Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57.3 9.4
 Transportation:
 LDC & End Users . . . . . . . . . . 232.7 260.2
 Short-Haul . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153.9 154.7
 Total Transportation . . . . . . . 386.6 414.9
 Throughput . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 443.9 424.3
 Distribution (billion cubic feet):
 Gas Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126.3 125.5
 Transportation . . . . . . . . . . . . 59.9 54.4
 Throughput . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186.2 179.9
 Degree Days-Distribution Service Territory
 Actual. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,672 2,573
 Normal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,979 2,947
 Pct. Colder (warmer) than normal . . . . . (10.3) (12.7)
 Pct. Colder (warmer) than prior period . . 3.8 13.8
 (A) Restated to reflect the adoption of SFAS No. 106 (Employers' Accounting for Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions) and SFAS No. 96 (Accounting for Income Taxes).
 /delval/
 -0- 5/7/92
 /CONTACT: H.W. Chaddock, 302-429-5261, or W.R. McLaughlin, 302-429-5443 (both media); T.L. Hughes, 302-429-5471, or D.W. McFarland, 302-429-5363, or 302-429-5000 (both analysts), all of Columbia Gas/
 (CG) CO: The Columbia Gas System, Inc. ST: Delaware IN: OIL SU: ERN


JS -- PH044 -- 7830 05/07/92 17:00 EDT
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