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Story by Oregon State Media, Inc.
Published on Friday April 29, 2011 - 1:11 PM
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SALEM, Oregon - The Oregon Public Utility Commission has cleared the way for Northwest Natural Gas to enter a joint venture to develop gas fields in Wyoming.

Under the terms of the deal, NW Natural will invest $251 million over five years in return for natural gas for its Oregon customers over the next 30 years. The joint venture is with Encana Oil & Gas., a subsidiary of Canada-based Encana Corp.

The commission's decision Thursday approved a settlement it reached with NW Natural, the Citizens' Utility Board and Northwest Industrial Gas Users.

The commission and the parties to the settlement agreed it offers likely customer benefits of price savings and natural gas price stability over the term of the agreement.

NW Natural says it expects enough natural gas from the fields during the first 10 years to meet 8 percent to 10 percent of its customer needs each year.