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Natural Gas Supplies in the Pacific Northwest

Pacific Northwest natural gas customers benefit from their proximity to the prolific Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) and U.S. Rocky Mountain (Rockies) natural gas-producing regions.

June 7 -8, 2017: 14th Annual Energy Conference

  • Annual Energy Conference
    June 7, 2017 - June 8, 2017
    11:00 am - 4:30 pm

Benefits of Direct Use of Natural Gas

For many years, energy agencies have alerted Americans to the importance of energy efficiency. A variety of tags and certifications, backed by financial incentives, encourage us to understand our equipment buying options. We know that it makes sense to spend a little more on a product so that we can save money and energy throughout its useful life.

These efforts continue to reduce per capita energy use for both natural gas and electric customers. And the more energy we save, the lower our impact on the environment.

Washington State Regulators Approve Pipeline Replacement Plans

OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators have approved plans by the state’s four investor-owned natural gas companies to modernize and update portions of their pipeline delivery systems, replacing hundreds of miles of older pipes with state-of-the-art plastic pipe.

The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) last year directed the companies to survey their pipeline infrastructure and propose plans to replace pipeline with “elevated risk.” As incentive for such pipeline replacement, the UTC policy permitted the gas companies to recover costs each year, rather than waiting for a future formal rate proceeding.

“Pipeline safety is an ongoing concern, and one should never be complacent,” said UTC Chairman Dave Danner. “But these plans demonstrate that Washington’s gas utilities are committed to the safety of our state’s pipeline infrastructure. Unlike many states, we have almost none of the more dangerous cast iron pipeline that has failed in other parts of the country, and utilities all have sound plans going forward to replace some plastic pipe that has shown a tendency toward minor cracking.”

The four natural gas companies are Avista, Puget Sound Energy (PSE), Cascade Natural Gas Corp. and Northwest Natural Gas Co. The utilities serve about 1.2 million natural gas customers in Washington.

In their plans, the companies identified the pipe targeted for replacement and described how the company assessed risk and established its replacement priorities. The plans also included a schedule for determining the location of elevated-risk pipe. The plans must be updated every two years.

• Avista’s system has some older polyethylene pipe installed prior to the 1970s. Over the next two years, Avista will replace 60 miles of pipe in unincorporated Spokane County. The company has already completed replacement of plastic pipe in Davenport and Odessa.

The Spokane-based company has about 3,400 miles of natural gas pipeline in the state, and serves some 150,000 natural gas customers, primarily in Eastern Washington.

• PSE also has some older polyethylene pipe in its service territory, 400 miles of which it will upgrade over the next 20 years. In the next two years, it will upgrade 60 miles of pipe located in scattered areas from Marysville to Olympia.

In addition, the company will replace the last remaining18 miles of bare steel pipe. The company has already replaced some 200 miles of such pipe in Seattle and Tacoma over the last decade.

PSE’s miles of natural-gas distribution system in Washington includes more than 12,000 miles of pipeline. The Bellevue-based company supplies natural gas to 783,659 customers in King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.

• Cascade Natural Gas will replace 62 miles of bare steel pipeline in Longview, Shelton and Anacortes, a third of it by 2015. The Kennewick-based company has almost 4,500 miles of natural gas pipelines in its distribution network in the state.

The company serves almost 200,000 customers in 65 communities throughout the state, including Bellingham, Bremerton, Mount Vernon, Aberdeen, Longview, Moses Lake, Kennewick, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima.

• Northwest Natural Gas has scheduled all bare steel pipe to be replaced by the end of next year. The Portland-based company has about 1,700 miles of natural gas pipeline in Washington, serving about 72,000 residential and commercial customers in Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties.

Currently, each gas company regulated by the commission recovers costs through periodic general rate cases, which can take up to 11 months. The commission created a special cost-recovery mechanism for the gas companies to replace high-risk pipe while allowing a faster recovery of the investment in new pipe in customer rates.

In 2011, the federal government adopted a new program that required natural gas distribution companies to develop procedures to ensure the safety and reliability of the pipeline delivery system. The new regulations require operators to identify those conditions, characteristics or threats that cause leaks in order to make their systems more reliable and safe.

Established by the Legislature in 1955, the UTC’s Pipeline Safety Program regulates the safety practices of 31 pipeline companies and conducts safety inspections on more than 24,000 miles of natural gas and hazardous-liquid pipelines in Washington.

 

MDU Resources’ Utility Companies Recognized in J.D. Power Study

BISMARCK, N.D. — Two utility subsidiaries of MDU Resources Group Inc. have been recognized for highest customer satisfaction. Intermountain Gas Company and Cascade Natural Gas Corporation received the highest ranking in satisfaction among residential natural gas customers in the midsize natural gas utilities segment of the West Region in a tie, according to a national study.

The 2013 J.D. Power Gas Utility Residential Customers Satisfaction StudySM was released last week. Intermountain and Cascade earned a score of 655, tied for highest among midsize natural gas utilities in the West Region. This is the fourth straight year Intermountain has earned the top spot.

“There can be no higher compliment than hearing from your own customers that they think you are the best,” said David L. Goodin, president and CEO of MDU Resources.

“This is an outstanding recognition for our employees who make it their highest priority every day to provide safe and reliable natural gas service,” said K. Frank Morehouse, president and CEO of Intermountain and Cascade. “Our employees take great pride in serving our more than 264,000 Cascade customers in Washington and Oregon, and our more than 312,000 Intermountain customers in southern Idaho.”

In its 12th year, the study surveys customer satisfaction across a number of factors, including billing and payment, price, corporate citizenship, communications, field service and customer service.

Events

June 7 -8, 2017: 14th Annual Energy Conference

unknown14th Annual Energy Conference
June 7 – 8, 2017

Annual Energy Conference Program

 

Skamania Lodge: Discounted rates are $152, plus lodge fees and taxes for a forest view room and $172, plus lodge fees and taxes for a river view room. The Lodge now has a 5-day cancellation policy. The lodge is currently SOLD OUT for the night of June 8, you may request to be put on the waitlist.  Reservations are available now by contacting the Lodge 1-800-221-7117 and let them you are attending the Annual Energy Conference. Make online using the code 1XW46U.

Alternative Lodging Options:

Best Western Plus at Columbia River Inn                           Columbia Gorge Inn
735 WaNaPa Street                                                                    404 Wa Na Pa Street
Cascade Locks OR 97014                                                         Cascade Locks OR 97014 
Reservations: 541-374-8777                                                    Telphone:  541-374-0015
                                                                                                       Online Reservations

CANCELLATIONS:
Refund, less $50 fee, will be given up to May 26, 2017. After that date, we have already confirmed headcounts and committed to your cost of attendance. We are happy to allow substitutions by calling 503.344.6637.

Continuing Education Credits: We have applied to receive approval for attorneys (Oregon and Washington) to earn CLEs for the attendance at the annual energy conference.

Who is attending?

 Lawrence Acker — Van Ness Feldman LLP  Teresa Acosta — Calpine Energy Solutions  Judy Adair — Northwest Gas Association  Rick Adair — Energy NewsData  Paula Allen — United Energy Trading  Ronald Amen — Black & Veatch Management Consulting, LLC  Dana Anderson — Avista  Darren Anderson — Idaho Power  Shalena Armstrong — Shell Energy  Mckenzie Avenetti — SUPREME PERLITE COMPANY  Nick Avenetti — Supreme Perlite Company  Graham Bailey — NORPAC  Jay Balasbas — Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission  Jay Balasbas — Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission  Donna Barnett — Perkins Coie  Keith Barnhart — Shell Energy North America  Beth Beatty — Cost Management Services, Inc.  David Bennett — FortisBC Energy Inc.  Walter Bennett — Williams Northwest Pipeline  Tim Boyd — The TSB Group  Ed Brewer — Willliams Northwest Pipeline  Edward Brewer — Williams Northwest Pipeline  Tyne Brownlow — International Paper  Ian Burkheimer — Plum Energy  Jeff Bush — Calpine Energy Solutions  John Campion — PSE  John Carr — Industrial Customers of Northwest Utilities  Brent Carson — Van Ness Feldman LLP  Dan Casey — Thermic  Nick Caumanns — Cascadia Energy Ltd  Ed Coghlan — ON Semiconductor  Cliff Conte — Calpine Energy Solutions  Scott Corzine — Puget Sound Energy  Becky Coughlin — IGI/BP  Robert Cox — Kapstone Paper  Brian Cunnington — Cascade Natural Gas  Lynn Dahlberg — Williams Northwest Pipeline  Charles Deister — Jordan Cove LNG  Cynthia Des Brisay — FortisBC  Bill Donahue — Puget Sound Energy  Candice Engel  Ralph Epling — IGI Resources, a BP Energy Company  Carl Fink — Blue Planet Law  Grant Forsyth — Avista Corp.  Kelly Francone — Energy Strategies  Ken Fuhr — Independent Energy Consultants(BC)  Alan Garcia — NW Natural  Kimberly Gentle — Pend Oreille PUD  Laren Gertsch — Williams Northwest Pipeline  Rich Greenwell — Cost Management Services, Inc  Teresa Griffels — Portland General Electric  Sara Grigsby — SUPREME PERLITE COMPANY  Scott Gutting — Energy Strategies  Jena Hackett — International Paper  Steve Harper — Noble Gas & Power  Charley Hathaway — Northwest Procurement Solutions LLC  Tom Haymaker — Clark Public Utilities  Clifton Hazen — NW Natural  Leslie Heilbrunn — Portland General Electric  Kim Heiting — NW Natural  Eric Hiaasen — Clatskanie PUD  Nancy Holbrook — IGI Resources, Inc.  Chris Horn — Columbia Steel Casting Co.  Brandon Houskeeper — Puget Sound Energy  Sam Jackson — Apex Companies  Jason Johns — Stoel Rives LLP  Curtis Johnson — Calpine Energy Solutions  Garth Johnson — Enbridge Inc.  Scott Johnson — NW Natural  Cheryl Jones — Southern Cross Corp  Massoud Jourabchi — Northwest Power and Conservation Council  Robert Kahn — Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition (NIPPC)  Nick Kaiser — Nippon Dynawave Packaging Co.  Andreas Kammereck — Golder Associates Inc.  Bryn Karaus — Van Ness Feldman  Ryin Khandoker — Portland General Electric  Cathy Kim — Portland General Electric  John Kinder — Questar Pipeline, LLC  Alan Kiraly — SUPREME PERLITE COMPANY  Peter Kresnyak — Absolute Energy  Michele Kvam — Puget Sound Energy, Inc.  Mary Lang — FortisBC  Nancy Lange — NW Natural  Andrew Lightfoot — Puget Sound Energy  Tamy S Linver — NW Natural  Scott Madison — Intermountain Gas Company  Dave Madsen — Williams Northwest Pipeline  Daniel Mangeac — IGI Resources, INC.  Bruce Martin — WestRock Tacoma  Eric Martin — Stoel Rives LLP  Eric Martuscelli — Cascade Natural Gas Corporation  Jawad Masud — TransCanada  Josh McCall — BP  Mary McCordic — Shell Energy North America (Canada) Inc.  Gayle McCutchan — Calpine Energy Solutions  Gayle McCutchan — Calpine Energy Solutions  Mike McGrath — Intermountain Gas Company  Timothy McMahan — STOEL RIVES LLP  George Minter — SoCalGas  Jerry Mishler — Supreme Perlite Company  Jody Morehouse — Avista  Bob Morman — Cascade Natural Gas - MDU  Kirby Morrow — Absolute Energy  Stewart Muir — Resource Works  Tom Myrberg — Questar Pipeline, LLC  Stephen Newell — Ruby Pipeline  Thomas Pardee — Avista Corp  Joelyn Pineda — Shell Energy North America  Justin Pino — United Energy Trading  Rob Platt — United Energy Trading  Elizabeth Ponce — U.S. Cellular  Aldis Raisters — Georgia-Pacific  Jassi Randhawa — FortisBC  Rick Rautenbach — Enbridge  Connor Reiten — NWGA  Clay Riding — Northwest Innovation Works  Grant Ringel — Puget Sound Energy  Chris Robbins — Cascade Natural Gas Corp.  Mike Roberts — KapStone  Thad Roth — Energy Trust of Oregon  Shan Rowbotham — City of Ellensburg  Shan Rowbotham — City of Ellensburg  Dave Santen — NW Natural  Amy Schulties — NW Natural  Kaylene Schultz — Avista  Randy Schultz — IGI Resources, Inc.  Robert Schuster — FortisBC  Eric Scott — Avista Corporation  Mark Sellers-Vaughn — Cascade Natural Gas Corporation  Gary Sernovitz — Lime Rock Management  Steve Simmons — Northwest Power and Conservation Council  Tom Simpson — NW Natural  Gurvinder Singh — Puget Sound Energy  Heather Sixkiller — Portland General Electric  Trudy Slagle — Lamb Weston  Derrick Smith — MacKay Sposito  Teresa Smith — Pend Oreille PUD  Jared Sommer — BYU-Idaho  Tania Specogna — FortisBC Inc  Buddy Stanavich — City of Ellensburg  Mark Steele — Norpac Foods  Ashleigh Stewart — Boeing  Ashley Stowkowy — TransCanada  Ashley Stowkowy — TransCanada  Don Sturtevant — Simplot  Dennis Swanson — FortisBC  David Swenson — Intermountain Gas Company  Mona Tandon — Van Ness Feldman  Mike Thueson — BYU-Idaho  Gary Venz — Williams Northwest Pipeline  Fred Weisberg — Weisberg Law Corporation  Jay White — TransCanada  Keith White — NW Natural  Rusty Williams — BP  Bruce Wittmann — Wittmann Consulting LLC  Brian Wood — Nippon Dynawave Packaging Co.  Tom Yarborough — Weyerhaeuser Company  Dave Yexley — MDU Utilities Group-Cascade Natural Gas