Southern Company Energy Marketing receives FERC approval

Southern Company Energy Marketing — a joint venture between Southern Company subsidiary Southern Energy Inc. and Vastar Resources Inc. — recently received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to begin trading and marketing electricity.

The new company began marketing gas on Sept. 1. Southern Company Energy Marketing will combine Southern Energy’s and Vastar’s power marketing businesses and begin marketing electricity under the new company’s name Jan. 1.

“This approval marks an important step for us. Southern Company Energy Marketing can now offer an array of energy commodities and state-of-the-art financial services to all its customers,” said Marce Fuller, chief executive officer of Atlanta-based Southern Company Energy Marketing. “As the gas and electricity markets continue to converge in North America, we are giving our customers want they want — a total energy supplier.”

Southern Company Energy Marketing’s predecessors sold 28.3 million megawatt-hours of electricity in the third quarter of 1997, making the new company the nation’s fifth-largest power marketer. Southern Company Energy Marketing is one of the country’s top 10 natural gas marketing companies with third quarter 1997 sales averaging 4.6 billion cubic feet per day.

With 24-hour trading floors in Atlanta and Houston and smaller energy marketing offices across the country, Southern Company Energy Marketing provides, where regulation allows, energy trading, marketing and financial services. It also offers other energy-related commodities, products and services to customers in North America. These customers include other energy marketers, local gas distribution companies, municipal and cooperative utilities, investor-owned utilities and large business customers.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company supplies electricity in nine countries on four continents and provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services and wireless telecommunications. Southern Company’s common stock is one of the 20 most widely held corporate stocks in America.

Vastar Resources Inc. (NYSE: VRI), headquartered in Houston, is one of the nation’s leading independent exploration, production and marketing companies. Vastar’s operations are concentrated in four premier producing regions of the United States — the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Coast, San Juan Basin and Mid-Continent — and its market presence extends nationwide. At year-end 1996, Vastar held more than 2.9 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved reserves.