NW Natural Renegotiates Joint Venture With Encana Oil & Gas

NW Natural Renegotiates Joint Venture With Encana Oil & Gas 
PORTLAND, OR -- (Marketwired) -- 03/31/14 --  Northwest Natural Gas
Company, dba NW Natural (NYSE: NWN), announced today that it has
executed an amendment to its Carry and Earning Agreement with Encana
Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. (Encana) in order to facilitate Encana's
proposed divestiture of its interest in the Jonah field in Wyoming to
an affiliate of TPG Capital (TPG), as announced by Encana on March
31, 2014. The agreement ends NW Natural's drilling of wells in the
field, but maintains the Company's ownership interest in both
existing production as well as a number of future locations. 
NW Natural entered into agreements with Encana in 2011 to develop gas
reserves to provide long-term price protection for Oregon utility
customers (Agreement). Under the Agreement, the company was expected
to invest between $45 and $55 million per year for five years, for a
cumulative total investment of about $250 million. Revenues from the
sale of gas produced under the Agreement is credited to utility cost
of gas and included as part of the annual Oregon Purchased Gas
Adjustment filing. This allows the Company to recover its gas reserve
costs, plus a return on the net investment, through customer rates in
a manner previously approved by the Public Utility Commission of
Oregon (OPUC). 
This year the company has invested $15 million, or a cumulative total
investment of $176 million in the venture. These gas reserves are
expected to provide NW Natural a price hedge on approximately 9
percent of its utility gas purchase requirements for the current
year, and are expected to provide long term hedge benefits to
customers. 
"We continue to reap the long-term advantages of low natural gas
prices through our investment in the Jonah Field," said Gregg Kantor,
president & CEO of NW Natural. "Our investment is expected to
continue to provide stable prices for a portion of our utility gas
supply for years to come." 
The Amendment increases NW Natural's interests in sections of the
Jonah Field. NW Natural will also continue to have additional
drilling rights under the Joint Operating Agreement with TPG,
creating an opportunity to develop future reserves. 
NW Natural estimates this could provide about 25 billion cubic feet
of additional gas that could be developed for its customers in the
future. 
The Amendment is effective as of March 7, 2014. 
"We believe locking in a portion of our supply with lower cost gas is
the right thing to pursue on behalf of our customers," said Kantor.
"Encana was a great company to partner with on this innovative
agreement, and we look forward to working with the new owner and the
OPUC to explore the potential benefits of further well development at
Jonah." 
Forward-Looking Statements
 This report, and other presentations made
by NW Natural from time to time, may contain forward-looking
statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be
identified by words such as "anticipates," "intends," "plans,"
"seeks," "believes," "estimates," "expects" and similar references to
future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but
are not limited to, statements regarding the following: plans,
objectives, goals, strategies, future events, investments, gas costs
and pricing, customer rates or rate recovery, drilling, production
and expected volumes, gas reserves, price protection for customers
and hedging, financial positions, capital expenditures, revenues and
earnings and timing thereof, performance, timing or effects of future
regulatory proceedings or future regulatory approvals, effects of
regulatory mechanisms, and other statements that are other than
statements of historical facts. 
Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and
assumptions regarding our business, the economy and other future
conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future,
they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in
circumstances that are difficult to predict. Our actual results may
differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking
statements. We caution you therefore against relying on any of these
forward-looking statements. They are neither statements of historical
fact nor guarantees or assurances of future performance. Important
factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from
those in the forward-looking statements are discussed by reference to
the factors described in Part I, Item 1A "Risk Factors," and Part II,
Item 7 and Item 7A "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial
Condition and Results of Operations" and "Quantitative and
Qualitative Disclosure about Market Risk" in the Company's most
recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in Part I, Items 2 and 3
"Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and
Results of Operations" and "Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures
About Market Risk," and Part II, Item 1A, "Risk Factors," in the
Company's quarterly reports filed thereafter. 
All forward-looking statements made in this report and all subsequent
forward-looking statements, whether written or oral and whether made
by or on behalf of the Company, are expressly qualified by these
cautionary statements. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as
of the date on which such statement is made, and we undertake no
obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether
as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise,
except as may be required by law. New factors emerge from time to
time and it is not possible for the Company to predict all such
factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor or the
extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause
results to differ materially from those contained in any
forward-looking statements. 
About NW Natural
 NW Natural (NYSE: NWN) is headquartered in
Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 695,000
residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Oregon and
Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas
utility in the Pacific Northwest. Additional information is available
at www.nwnatural.com. 
Media Contact: 
Kim Heiting
Phone: 503-220-2366
Email: kah@nwnatural.com 
Investor Relations:
Bob Hess
Phone: 503-220-2388
Email: bob.hess@nwnatural.com 
 
 
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