El Paso Corp. (ticker: EP, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
El Paso Comments on FERC Ruling
HOUSTON, TEXAS, March 29, 2001—El Paso Corporation (NYSE:EPG) commented on the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission's (FERC) ruling yesterday in response to a complaint filed by the
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The FERC unanimously ruled
to dismiss the CPUC's allegations that El Paso Natural Gas Company (EPNG)
violated FERC's rules and regulations by conducting its open season so as to
favor improperly its marketing affiliate, El Paso Merchant Energy (EPME).
The FERC's order concludes that the open season in which EPME bid for and was
awarded capacity on EPNG's natural gas pipeline to California was conducted in
compliance with FERC's regulations and did not violate rules and regulations
applicable to dealings between regulated pipelines and their gas marketing
affiliates. The FERC further ordered that the portions of the complaint
alleging improper use of market power would be set for hearing before an
administrative law judge with a ruling to be rendered within 60 days.
"We are very pleased with the FERC's ruling
today that both El Paso Natural Gas and El Paso Merchant Energy
operated in full compliance with the FERC's rules and regulations in
connection with the award of pipeline capacity," said William A. Wise,
chairman, president, and chief executive officer of El Paso. "In
addition, we are pleased that the evidentiary hearing will be concluded
promptly, giving El Paso the opportunity to demonstrate that there has been no
improper exercise of market power. We are confident that the FERC will
conclude that El Paso has not engaged in any improper conduct."
El Paso Corporation, the largest and most broadly
based natural gas company in the world, spans the energy value chain from
wellhead to electron. With an enterprise value in excess of $50 billion,
El Paso is a leader in every phase of the natural gas industry. The
company owns and operates a significant portion of the North American natural
gas delivery grid, operates the fastest growing, most sophisticated energy
merchant group, and is the nation's third largest natural gas producer.
El Paso, a leader in risk management techniques, is focused on maximizing
shareholder value, transforming existing markets, and speeding the development
of new markets. Visit El Paso at www.elpaso.com.
This release includes forward-looking statements and projections, made in
reliance on the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995. The company has made every reasonable effort to ensure
that the information and assumptions on which these statements and projections
are based are current, reasonable, and complete. However, a variety of
factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections,
anticipated results or other expectations expressed in this release. While
the company makes these statements and projections in good faith, neither the
company nor its management can guarantee that the anticipated future results
will be achieved. Reference should be made to the company's (and its
affiliates') Securities and Exchange Commission filings for additional
important factors that may affect actual results.