David Waples National Fuel
used, which is about three times the national average price at the wellhead (which has been hovering close to $2 per mcf), Springirth said. WapJes said NFG wants to increase increase the average charge per mcf by 96-cents; this includes 40 cents to cover NFG's actual cost of gas last year above the rates allowed by the PUC, 30 cents for projected increases in the cost of natural gas tin the coming year and 21 cents to cover the termination termination of refund contracts with suppliers. Springirth said he does not nfg believe the estimates correctly reflect the actual natural gas marketplace. Quoting futures prices last week in The Wall Street Journal, Springirth said that the market does not see much change in wellhead prices for the coming year. Futures price estimates range from $1.96 per mcf to $2.36 in May, before dropping down to $1.87 in June and then stabilizing at $2. The average futures price for 1994 is projected at $1.97, he said. Springirth maintains that NFG's parent corporation, National Fuel Gas Inc., showed a 25-percent increase in profits last year. It's annual statement quoted greater gas production and higher prices for the rise in profits. Waples said "there is absolutely absolutely no connection" between the performance of the parent company and the performance of NFG Distribution. Springirth, however, maintains maintains that the parent company's vast storage reservoirs allow it to make a profit from selling to NFG distribution corp. when the wellhead price goes up.