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NATIONWIDE PROPANE SUPPLIES ARE IN GOOD SHAPE FOR WINTER

 LISLE, Ill., Nov. 19 ~PRNewswire~ -- Nationwide propane supplies are higher than they've been for three years, although demand for propane has hit 30 years highs in the last few weeks because of a record midwestern corn crop. Farmers use propane gas to dry their corn before storing it for the winter.
 This optimist propane supply outlook for the 1992-93 winter season was reported at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Winter Fuels Outlook Conference held in Washington recently.
 "People have begun to recognize propane as one of the premier fuels in the U.S.," said William H. Chase, chairman of NPGA's Statistical and Market Research Committee, who was one of two propane industry representatives making presentations at the Washington conference.
 The Energy Information Administration (EIA), confirmed that propane stocks are strong this year, with a total of 59.3 million barrels in primary storage facilities as of Nov. 6. This figure does not include the propane in secondary storage, such as the supplies maintained in the tanks of propane dealers and consumers, or large propane suppliers kept in private storage by major petrochemical companies.
 At the Winter Fuels Outlook Conference, Dr. Calvin Kent, administrator of the EIA, reported that even if winter heating degree days went up by as much as 10 percent, the current propane supply could meet the increased needs. Degree days are an indicator of heating demand.
 Close to 8 million homes use propane gas for heating, cooking and other household energy needs. It's also used extensively in agriculture and in commercial and petrochemical industries.
 According to Chase, a number of changes have been made since the extreme cold spell of December 1989 to ensure a reliable supply of propane gas throughout the winter. For one thing, propane dealers and customers have recognized the importance of maintaining higher inventories. Chase also reported that improved communication between the propane industry and government agencies has ensured that supply and distribution resources will be more effectively utilized should weather extremes occur. Also more propane dealers are now contracting with major suppliers for their inventories rather than relying on the availability of spot product. This allows the suppliers to plan ahead to ensure that adequate inventories will be available.
 Richard F. Phillips, general manager of Dixie Pipeline Co., was the second propane industry representative at the winter fuels conference. He pointed out that major improvements along Dixie's propane gas pipeline, which extends from the propane supply hub in Mont Belvieu, Texas to Apex, North Carolina, have greatly increased his company's pumping capacity. He also reported that propane storage facilities at Apex are currently 75 percent full "which is extremely good for this time of year."
 -0- 11~19~92
 ~CONTACT: Evelyn Caprel or Shirley Barnes of National Propane Gas Association, 708-352-4004~


CO: National Propane Gas Association ST: Illinois IN: OIL SU: ECO

TS -- NY027 -- 2743 11~19~92 09:50 EST
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Date:Nov 19, 1992
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