Intermountain Gas Named 2012 Recipient of AGA Safety Achievement Award

Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) today recognized a number of natural gas utilities and transmission companies at its Annual Operations Conference and Biennial Exhibition for achieving outstanding records for employee safety, motor vehicle safety and accident prevention. Safety is the number one priority for the natural gas distribution and transmission industry. AGA is committed to promoting a culture of safety among its more than 200 member companies and their employees to build on the industry’s long history of safely and reliably delivering the nation’s most efficient, abundant, clean energy source to homes and businesses.

“America’s natural gas utilities operate the safest, most reliable energy delivery system in the country,” said AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy. “That record is built on the tireless and dedicated work of natural gas employees across AGA’s membership. I applaud our award recipients and thank them for their commitment to keeping our employees and communities safe.”

AGA’s Annual Operations Conference and Biennial Exhibition opened on May 21 in Orlando, with more than 1700 attendees and over 120 presentations on pipeline safety, advances in pipeline construction, employee safety programs, environmental safeguards and more. The 80,000 sq. ft. exhibition features more than 200 natural gas distribution and transmission vendors.

The 2012 Safety Achievement Award recipients are:

Knoxville Utilities Board (Knoxville, TN)

Intermountain Gas Company (Boise, ID)

TECO Peoples Gas (Tampa, FL)

We Energies (Milwaukee, WI)

COMGÁS (São Paulo, Brazil)

Columbia Gas of Ohio (Columbus, OH)

Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. (Ontario, Canada)

CoServ Gas, Ltd. (Corinth, TX)

PECO Energy (Philadelphia, PA)

ONEOK Natural Gas Pipeline Company (Tulsa, OK)

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc. (Owensboro, KY)


The following AGA member companies earned 2012 Safety Achievement Awards by experiencing the lowest motor vehicle accident rate for companies of their type:

UniSource Energy Services (Tucson, AZ)

Liberty Utilities (Salem, NH)

Dow Pipeline Company (Freeport, TX)

Cheniere Pipeline Company – Creole Trail Pipeline (Cameron, LA)

Annual Energy Conference Agenda Updates!

Just confirmed! Two great speakers covering two of the hottest topics in natural gas, the history and future of natural gas production and the potential regional impacts of LNG exports. You won’t want to miss these speakers. If you haven’t registered for the Tenth Annual Energy Conference yet, there’s still time! Click here to see the full agendaa list of confirmed attendees.

Encana’s Jill E. Cooper, Group Lead, Environment, will delve into the history of natural gas production and provide her perspective on where the industry is heading in the future. Jill is responsible for US Division environmental regulatory and policy efforts, including those related to air quality, water quality and quantity, surface management, wildlife, materials and waste management, sustainability, greenhouse gases, hydraulic fracturing, environmental due diligence, and environmental management systems.  Jill serves on the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board, Denver Mayor’s Greenprint Council, American Exploration and Production Council EHS Committee.

Kevin Petak, Vice President, ICF International, will lend his insight on proposed Pacific Northwest LNG export projects and what impacts they may or may not have in our region. Kevin is an expert in gas market modeling, has over 26 years of experience in the energy industry. He has directed numerous energy market analyses to support strategic planning needs at energy companies. These analyses have investigated the impact of gas production, gas storage, liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, and pipeline expansions on gas prices, the effect of weather and oil prices on gas markets, and the impact of carbon control strategies on gas markets.

Don’t miss out on these speakers and more, register for the conference today by clicking here.

Northwest Utilities Tackling Power System Complexities in PNUCC’s 2013 NW Regional Forecast

Portland, Ore. — PNUCC’s 2013 Northwest Regional Forecast, released this week, provides a look at the Pacific Northwest’s electric power landscape for the next decade, compiling utility information on loads and resources to frame our energy future picture.  It is one of growing complexity as utilities fine-tune how to ensure there’s enough power for everyone during the highest energy use periods with a growing intermittent power supply.

A notable change from last year’s forecast is that overall loads are down and predicted to remain lower than previously foreseen.  Utilities are predicting firm energy demand in 2014 to be down about 700 average megawatts from what they thought a year ago.  The forecasts for the summer and winter peak are also down a similar proportion.  Although these loads are lower, utilities predict a continued steady rise in demand over the next decade.

As in last year’s Forecast, utilities are paying closer attention to peak demand and how to plan for these spikes in usage, typically in winter with its heavier heating and lighting loads.  In fact, the report indicates a need for additional supply to meet winter peak demand in the first year of the report.  Summer peak needs are not quite as urgent, with resources sufficient until 2017, but still must be addressed.

Adding to the decades of success of energy-efficiency programs, utilities are implementing new demand-side initiatives, shaving load in peak periods by engaging customers in programs such as demand response.  The region will also need new generating resources to assure power system reliability.  Utilities are investing in flexible generation options to balance the variable nature of resources like wind and solar.

Newly acquired generating resources and plans for future acquisitions are revealing a complex strategy for dealing with short-term load reductions and longer-term projected needs, particularly in peak seasons.  While hydropower is still the backbone of the region’s power system, the trend toward supplementing with natural gas-fired generation will continue in combination with contract purchases to help bridge seasonal gaps.  Other renewable options besides wind, including hydro-efficiency improvements, biomass, geothermal and solar are more prominent in utilities’ plans.

Read the full report at