EnCana expanding Alberta natural gas storage

CALGARY, Alberta (October 17, 2002) - EnCana Corporation today announced plans to develop a new natural gas storage facility in southeastern Alberta that will store up to 40 billion cubic feet of gas. On completion of the development, the Countess gas storage facility is expected to increase EnCana's Western Canada gas storage by approximately 40 percent to more than 135 billion cubic feet.

"As natural gas markets continue to grow, so does the industry's anticipated demand for storage. The addition of this facility should help strengthen EnCana's position as the largest independent gas storage owner and operator in North America. With daily production of approximately 2.8 billion cubic feet of gas, EnCana is also North America's largest independent gas producer. The new Countess facility will not only be used to help manage sales and optimize the value of the company's produced gas, but will also expand the Canadian capacity available to other producers and marketers for managing gas supplies and sales," said Bill Oliver, President of EnCana's Midstream & Marketing division.

The Countess storage facility, designed for peak injections of 950 million cubic feet per day and peak withdrawals of 1,250 million cubic feet per day, will use two depleted underground natural gas reservoirs located about 85 kilometres east of Calgary. The first 10 billion cubic feet of new storage capacity is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2003. The full 40 billion cubic feet of space is expected to be available in April 2005. The facility will be operated commercially as part of the AECO Hub, which is comprised of 85 billion cubic feet of gas storage capacity at Suffield, in southeast Alberta, and 10 billion cubic feet of gas storage at Hythe, in northwest Alberta. Once Countess is complete, EnCana will own and operate about 180 billion cubic feet of gas storage capacity across North America, with facilities in Alberta, California and Oklahoma. Construction is currently underway to double the capacity of EnCana's Wild Goose storage facility in northern California to 29 billion cubic feet of storage. With the two expansion projects complete by 2005, total peak withdrawal capacity of EnCana's North American storage network is expected to grow to approximately 4 billion cubic feet per day.

"The development of this facility exemplifies an ideal business opportunity resulting from the merger of EnCana's predecessor companies. The Countess reservoir first produced gas for PanCanadian Energy Corporation in 1984. Now depleted, it has a second life as a new and vital part of the AECO Hub, the leading Canadian gas market centre first established by Alberta Energy Company Ltd. in 1988," Oliver said.

EnCana is one of the world's leading independent oil and gas companies with an enterprise value of approximately C$30 billion. EnCana is North America's largest independent natural gas producer and gas storage operator. Ninety percent of the Company's assets are in four key North American growth platforms. EnCana is the largest producer and landholder in Western Canada and is a key player in Canada's emerging offshore East Coast basins. In the U.S., EnCana is one of the largest gas explorers and producers in the Rocky Mountain states and has a strong position in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The Company has two key high potential international growth platforms: EnCana is the largest private sector oil producer in Ecuador and is the operator of a very large oil discovery in the U.K. Central North Sea. The Company also conducts high upside potential New Ventures exploration in other parts of the world. EnCana is driven to be the industry's best-in-class benchmark in production cost, per-share growth and value creation for shareholders. EnCana common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ECA.

ADVISORY - In the interests of providing EnCana shareholders and potential investors with information regarding EnCana, including management's assessment of EnCana's future plans and operations, certain statements contained in this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbour" provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to: the ability to complete the storage facility development as planned, the increase to EnCana's storage and withdrawal capacity, estimates of the storage facilities' capacity in 2003 and 2005, industry demand for additional storage, use of storage to help manage sales and optimize the value of EnCana's produced gas and the availability of expanded capacity for other producers and marketers.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not occur, which may cause the company's actual performance and financial results in future periods to differ materially from any estimates or projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other things: volatility of oil and gas prices; fluctuations in currency and interest rates; product supply and demand; market competition; risks inherent in the company's marketing operations; imprecision of reserve estimates; the company's ability to replace and expand oil and gas reserves; its ability to generate sufficient cash flow from operations to meet its current and future obligations; its ability to access external sources of debt and equity capital; the risk that the anticipated synergies to be realized by the merger of AEC and PanCanadian will not be realized; costs relating to the merger of AEC and PanCanadian being higher than anticipated and other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in the reports and filings made with securities regulatory authorities by EnCana and its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, AEC. Although EnCana believes that the expectations represented by such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Readers are cautioned that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. Furthermore, the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release, and EnCana does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.

Further information on EnCana Corporation and Alberta Energy Company Ltd. is available on the company's Web site, www.encana.com, or by contacting:

Investor Contact:
Sheila McIntosh

Senior Vice-President, Investor Relations
(403) 645-2194

Greg Kist
Manager, Investor Relations
(403) 645-4737

Media Contact:
Alan Boras
Manager, Media Relations
(403) 645-4747

ECA stock price

TSX $6.18 Can -0.34

NYSE $4.76 USD -0.255

As of 2019-07-15T16:00:00. Minimum 15 minute delay