HOUSTON – An indirect wholly-owned pipeline subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CNP) and NextEra US Gas Assets, LLC, an affiliate of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL), today announced that they have signed a joint development agreement to explore the construction of a pipeline in north Louisiana to transport natural gas from the expanding Haynesville Shale area. An upcoming open season will be held to gauge market interest in the proposed new pipeline.
The capacity of the potential new pipeline would be up to 2.0 billion cubic feet per day and would connect Haynesville Shale natural gas production to markets in north Louisiana and CenterPoint Energy’s Perryville Hub.
“Gas production in north Louisiana, including the rapidly developing Haynesville Shale, remains robust and we are committed to finding a solution to assist producers with Haynesville and north Louisiana acreage to create another pipeline option for their production,” said Greg Harper, senior vice president and group president of CenterPoint Energy’s Pipeline Group.
Larry Wall, president of NextEra US Gas Assets, LLC, said, “We believe there is a tremendous need to enhance the existing infrastructure in the rapidly expanding Haynesville Shale area. We are pleased to be partnering on this project with CenterPoint Energy, a company with a proven track record of executing expansion projects in this area.”
The specific facilities required will be a function of the location and volume commitment of potential shippers. Final pricing will be based on the facility costs, the level of firm commitments and the amount of interest indicated in accessing specific markets. It is expected that long-term pipeline capacity commitments will be necessary to complete this project.
Assuming adequate expressions of interest are received and management approval from both companies, a joint venture entity will be formed that would execute binding precedent agreements and seek necessary regulatory approvals to place the pipeline into service as quickly as possible. Each company would own an equal equity interest in the new pipeline. CenterPoint Energy’s pipeline group would design and oversee construction, and ultimately operate the new pipeline.
About CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total nearly $19 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the Web site atwww.CenterPointEnergy.com.
About FPL Group
FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE:FPL) is a leading clean energy company with 2008 revenues of more than $16 billion, approximately 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and more than 15,000 employees in 27 states and Canada. Headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla., FPL Group’s principal subsidiaries are NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and Florida Power & Light Company, which serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the country. Through its subsidiaries, FPL Group collectively operates the third largest U.S. nuclear power generation fleet. For more information about FPL Group visit www.FPLGroup.com.
CenterPoint Energy Forward-Looking Statement
This news release includes forward-looking statements. Actual events and results may differ materially from those projected. The statements in this news release regarding future financial performance and results of operations and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect actual results include the timing and outcome of appeals from the true-up proceedings, the timing and impact of future regulatory, legislative, and IRS decisions, effects of competition, weather variations, changes in CenterPoint Energy’s or its subsidiaries’ business plans, financial market conditions, the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas, the impact of unplanned facility outages, and other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy’s and its subsidiaries’ Forms 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008, CenterPoint Energy’s and its subsidiaries’ Forms 10-Q for the periods ended March 31, 2009, and June 30, 2009, CenterPoint Energy’s Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2009, and other filings with the SEC.
FPL Group Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements typically express or involve discussion as to expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance and often can be identified by the use of words such as “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” and similar terms.
Although FPL Group, Inc. (FPL Group) believes that its expectations are reasonable, because forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, it can give no assurance that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will prove to be correct, including FPL Group’s expectations with respect to the joint development agreement executed with CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (the “Joint Development Agreement”) and the potential pipeline construction project (the “Pipeline Project”). Important factors could cause FPL Group’s actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements in this press release. Factors that could have a significant impact on FPL Group’s operations and financial results, and could cause FPL Group’s actual results or outcomes, both generally and specifically with respect to the Joint Development Agreement and the Pipeline Project, to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, among others:
• Inability to reach agreement on the formation and operation of a joint venture entity to construct and own the Pipeline Project
• Inability to execute precedent agreements and other long-term commitments in connection with the Pipeline Project
• Inability to complete construction of, or capital improvements to, the Pipeline Project or other FPL Group power generation facilities
• Inability to obtain the required rights, regulatory approvals and permits for the construction and operation of the Pipeline Project
• Inability to obtain the supplies necessary for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Pipeline Project or other FPL Group power generation facilities
• Changes in laws, regulations, governmental policies and regulatory actions regarding the energy and natural gas industries and environmental matters
• Inability of FPL Group to access capital markets or maintain its credit rating
• Inability to hire and retain skilled labor for the construction and operation of the Pipeline Project, or other changes or disruptions related to FPL Group’s workforce
• Lack of natural gas production from the Haynesville Shale area
• General economic conditions
• Hazards customary to the operation and maintenance of pipelines and power generation facilities, including unanticipated outages
• Unusual or adverse weather conditions, including natural disasters
• Volatility in the price of natural gas or energy
• Failure of FPL Group customers to perform under contracts
• Increased competition in the power and natural gas industries
• Changes in the wholesale power and natural gas markets
• Costs and other effects of legal and administrative proceedings
• Terrorism or other catastrophic events
These foregoing factors should be considered in connection with information regarding risks and uncertainties that may affect FPL Group’s future results included in FPL Group’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov.
FPL Group undertakes no obligation to update or review any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances, including unanticipated events, after the date on which such statement is made. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of facts, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement.