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NATURAL GAS COSTS MAY RISE TO PREVIOUS YEAR'S LEVEL

 NATURAL GAS COSTS MAY RISE TO PREVIOUS YEAR'S LEVEL
 CLEVELAND, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- East Ohio Gas natural gas costs


would end the year slightly lower than they were one year ago, if a 7 percent gas cost recovery (GCR) increase filed today with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is granted.
 The GCR is expected to increase 31.4 cents per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) over the current rate of $2.67/Mcf. The new GCR rate of $2.98/Mcf, which will be in effect from Nov. 6 through Feb. 9, 1993, represents a slight decrease from the $2.99/Mcf in effect during the same period a year ago. If weather remains the same as last year, customers would see no change in their natural gas bills, compared with last winter.
 This will be the company's first request for a GCR increase in three years. Since November 1989, East Ohio Gas customers had enjoyed 12 straight GCR decreases, totaling more than 80 cents/Mcf. Despite the requested GCR increase, the company's gas costs still will be among the lowest in the United States.
 GCR adjustments are filed quarterly, reflecting the actual cost of gas purchased. The company does not make a profit on the GCR component, passing along these costs directly to consumers. The GCR accounts for two-thirds of a customer's bill.
 Patrick A. Carney, vice president of public affairs, attributed the higher prices to the dissipation of excess supplies on the nationwide natural gas market. Carney also attributed this tightening of the natural gas market to a combination of other factors, including increased natural gas demand for electric generation in the southwest, lower than normal storage inventories, restructuring of the interstate pipeline network and supply interruptions caused by Hurricane Andrew.
 Like natural gas utility customers nationwide, East Ohio Gas customers have become accustomed to declining natural gas prices over the past three years. Wellhead prices had declined nationally, as three straight warmer than normal winters resulted in abundant natural gas supplies on a year-round basis.
 Increased supplies on the national market, in the face of lower than normal demand, drove natural gas prices lower. Producers responded by cutting natural gas production on existing wells and drilling fewer new wells when market prices fell below profitable levels.
 Carney assured all East Ohio Gas customers that there is an adequate and reliable supply of natural gas for the 1992-93 winter heating season. The company has worked over the years to build a diverse supplier network and storage facilities, which enable the company to maintain reliable natural gas supplies for its customers at the least cost possible.
 Cleveland-based East Ohio Gas is the largest subsidiary of Consolidated Natural Gas Company, headquartered in Pittsburgh. The 2,500 employees of East Ohio Gas serve more than one million residential, commercial and industrial customers in 270 northeast Ohio communities.
 -0- 10/6/92
 /CONTACT: Tracy Oliver of East Ohio Gas, 216-736-6224 or toll-free in Ohio, 800-556-4400/ CO: East Ohio Gas Company ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU:


KK -- CL010 -- 7180 10/06/92 15:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1992
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