|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 indefinitely because of a number of unsettled issues such as capacity
reallocation, tax, and municipal franchise issues. Some LDCs in the State,
including Oklahoma Natural Gas Company 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 2005, Oklahoma had 880,165 residential and 78,720 commercial customers. They consumed 59 and 39 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 $11.67 and $11.01 per thousand cubic feet, respectively.