|Overview: In January 1998, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission adopted rules for competitive bidding of natural gas services both before (upstream) and after (downstream) the city gate (the delivery point to local distribution companies (LDCs)). These rules required all LDCs with 25,000 or more customers to file a plan for unbundling of all services by April 1998, with plans by smaller utilities due a year later. The original schedule called for retail gas competition to begin by October 1999. However, this date was extended at least until June 2005 owing to a number of unsettled issues such as capacity reallocation, tax, and municipal franchise issues. Some LDCs in the State, including Oklahoma Natural Gas with about 75 percent of the residential and commercial markets, have commission-approved tariffs that allow transportation-only service for schools, hospitals, and small businesses. Some companies also offer a voluntary fixed-price plan in which residential and small commercial customers can purchase their natural gas at a fixed per unit price for a 12-month period.
|EIA State Data: In 2004, Oklahoma had 871,762 residential and 78,977 commercial customers. They consumed 59 and 37 billion cubic feet of natural gas, respectively. The average prices paid for natural gas purchased from local distribution companies by residential and commercial customers were $10.23 and $9.68 per thousand cubic feet, respectively.