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Natural gas costs fall for Columbia Gas of Ohio customers despite Hurricane Isaac

Sunday, September 30, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Though gasoline costs have sharply risen in recent days due to Hurricane Isaac, Columbia Gas of Ohio customers will see natural gas costs fall for September.

Columbia Gas today announced today that its Standard Choice Offer (SCO) price for September will be about 42 cents per hundred cubic feet (Ccf). This marks the lowest September natural gas rates for consumers since 1997. It also contrasts sharply with the impact Gulf of Mexico hurricanes traditionally had on the cost of natural gas.

In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, natural gas costs rose as high as $1.36 per Ccf during the 2005-06 winter heating season. In less than a decade, significant growth in onshore natural gas production in places such as Ohio and Pennsylvania has reduced Gulf hurricanes’ impact on natural gas prices.

The September SCO is 26 percent lower than Columbia’s September 2011 commodity price of about 57 cents per Ccf, and 3 cents lower than August’s rate of about 45 cents.

The September SCO price is based on Wednesday's New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) month-end natural gas settlement price of $2.634 per 1,000 cubic feet (Mcf), plus a Retail Price Adjustment of $1.53 per Mcf. The Retail Price Adjustment was determined at Columbia’s February 14, 2012 retail gas supply auction, and approved by the PUCO the same day.

SCO customers receive their natural gas from one of five suppliers -- Delta Energy, DTE Energy Trading, Hess Corporation, Interstate Gas Supply or Volunteer Energy Services.

Columbia’s SCO price is adjusted each month to reflect the natural gas market price on the NYMEX. Monthly SCO price information is also available How The SCO Price Is Determined.