Commentary on this conference call may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws.  National Fuel Gas Company (the “Company”) is providing this cautionary statement to make applicable and take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, the Company.

Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding future prospects, plans, objectives, goals, projections, estimates of oil and gas quantities, strategies, future events or performance and underlying assumptions, capital structure, anticipated capital expenditures, completion of construction projects, projections for pension and other post-retirement benefit obligations, impacts of the adoption of new accounting rules, and possible outcomes of litigation or regulatory proceedings, as well as statements that are identified by the use of the words "anticipates," "estimates," "expects," "forecasts," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "projects," "believes," "seeks," "will," "may" and similar expressions.  All forward-looking statements, whether written or oral and whether made by or on behalf of the Company, are expressly qualified by these cautionary statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.

The Company's expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and are believed by the Company to have a reasonable basis, but there can be no assurance that management's expectations, beliefs or projections will result or be achieved or accomplished.

In addition to other factors, the following are important factors that, in the view of the Company, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements:

  1. Changes in laws, regulations or judicial interpretations to which the Company is subject, including those involving derivatives, taxes, safety, employment, climate change, other environmental matters, real property, and exploration and production activities such as hydraulic fracturing;
  2. Delays or changes in costs or plans with respect to Company projects or related projects of other companies, including difficulties or delays in obtaining necessary governmental approvals, permits or orders or in obtaining the cooperation of interconnecting facility operators;
  3. Governmental/regulatory actions, initiatives and proceedings, including those involving rate cases (which address, among other things, target rates of return, rate design and retained natural gas), environmental/safety requirements, affiliate relationships, industry structure, and franchise renewal;
  4. Changes in the price of natural gas or oil;
  5. Impairments under the SEC’s full cost ceiling test for natural gas and oil reserves;
  6. Financial and economic conditions, including the availability of credit, and occurrences affecting the Company’s ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms for working capital, capital expenditures and other investments, including any downgrades in the Company’s credit ratings and changes in interest rates and other capital market conditions;
  7. Factors affecting the Company’s ability to successfully identify, drill for and produce economically viable natural gas and oil reserves, including among others geology, lease availability, title disputes, weather conditions, shortages, delays or unavailability of equipment and services required in drilling operations, insufficient gathering, processing and transportation capacity, the need to obtain governmental approvals and permits, and compliance with environmental laws and regulations;
  8. Increasing health care costs and the resulting effect on health insurance premiums and on the obligation to provide other post-retirement benefits; 
  9. Changes in price differentials between similar quantities of natural gas or oil at different geographic locations, and the effect of such changes on commodity production, revenues and demand for pipeline transportation capacity to or from such locations;
  10. Other changes in price differentials between similar quantities of natural gas or oil having different quality, heating value, hydrocarbon mix or delivery date;
  11. The cost and effects of legal and administrative claims against the Company or activist shareholder campaigns to effect changes at the Company;
  12. Uncertainty of oil and gas reserve estimates;
  13. Significant differences between the Company’s projected and actual production levels for natural gas or oil;
  14. Changes in demographic patterns and weather conditions;
  15. Changes in the availability, price or accounting treatment of derivative financial instruments;
  16. Changes in laws, actuarial assumptions, the interest rate environment and the return on plan/trust assets related to the Company’s pension and other post-retirement benefits, which can affect future funding obligations and costs and plan liabilities;
  17. Changes in economic conditions, including global, national or regional recessions, and their effect on the demand for, and customers’ ability to pay for, the Company’s products and services;
  18. The creditworthiness or performance of the Company’s key suppliers, customers and counterparties;
  19. The impact of information technology, cybersecurity or data security breaches;
  20. Economic disruptions or uninsured losses resulting from major accidents, fires, severe weather, natural disasters, terrorist activities or acts of war;
  21. Significant differences between the Company’s projected and actual capital expenditures and operating expenses; or
  22. Increasing costs of insurance, changes in coverage and the ability to obtain insurance.

Forward-looking statements include estimates of oil and gas quantities. Proved oil and gas reserves are those quantities of oil and gas which, by analysis of geoscience and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be economically producible under existing economic conditions, operating methods and government regulations. Other estimates of oil and gas quantities, including estimates of probable reserves, possible reserves, and resource potential, are by their nature more speculative than estimates of proved reserves. Accordingly, estimates other than proved reserves are subject to substantially greater risk of being actually realized.

Any forward-looking statements contained in this conference call speak only as of the date of this call. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this conference call.  Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 10-K and Forms 10-Q, available at www.investor.nationalfuelgas.com. You can also obtain these forms on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.

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press-release-details
Press release details

National Fuel Announces Management Changes: David F. Smith Named Parent Company's President and Chief Operating Officer; Ronald J. Tanski Named President of the Utility

01/23/2006

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 23, 2006--National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) announces the following management changes, all to be effective February 1, 2006. National Fuel Gas Company ("National Fuel") is an integrated energy company with more than $3 billion of assets spread across five principal segments. The largest of those segments are: Exploration and Production (Seneca Resources Corporation), Pipeline and Storage (National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire State Pipeline) and Utility (National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation).

David F. Smith has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of National Fuel Gas Company. Smith will continue to serve as President of National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire State Pipeline. Philip C. Ackerman, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Fuel Gas Company, commented: "The appointment of Dave Smith as President and Chief Operating Officer of National Fuel Gas Company represents a new feature in the Company's management structure. This new position has been designed to allow Dave to focus on the overall operations of the Company as we continue to pursue opportunities for growth. Dave has played a key role in ensuring the ongoing success and profitability of our regulated businesses throughout his nearly three-decades-long career. In his new position, he will be able to apply these skills to all of our businesses."

Philip C. Ackerman remains Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Fuel Gas Company.

Ronald J. Tanski will become President of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, the Utility segment of National Fuel Gas Company. Tanski will continue to serve as Treasurer and Principal Financial Officer of National Fuel Gas Company. "With more than 20 years experience in virtually every facet of the National Fuel Gas Company system, Ron's experience, combined with his commitment to provide our customers with safe and reliable natural gas service, positions him well to bring continued success to the Utility segment, even as it faces the challenges of today's environment of sustained high energy prices," Ackerman said.

After 41 years of service in a variety of positions, Dennis J. Seeley has announced his retirement as President of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation. "We are grateful to Dennis for his many years of dedicated service to National Fuel's customers and shareholders. His tenure is one that witnessed enormous changes in the energy industry and Dennis' leadership and accomplishments were integral to the Company's ability to transition and grow during those years. We wish him and his family the very best as he begins this new phase of his life," Ackerman said.

Ackerman added: "I am pleased to announce these management changes which are consistent with our longstanding commitment to provide both leadership and exceptional talent at all levels of our organization."

About David F. Smith

Smith joined the Company in 1978 and has served as President of National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation and Empire State Pipeline since 2005. He served as President of National Fuel Resources, Inc., from 1991 to 1995 and, in 1999, was named President of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation. Smith is a 1974 graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia with a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Political Science. He also received a Juris Doctorate in 1978 from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. Smith serves on the following Boards: Amherst Chamber of Commerce, Western New York Public Broadcasting Association, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (Chairman-Elect), Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Arts in Education, Northeast Gas Association (Vice Chairman), Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), INGAA Foundation and American Gas Foundation. He is also a member of the Leadership Council of the American Gas Association, the Dean's Advisory Council of the University of Buffalo Law School, and the New York State and Erie County Bar Associations. Smith lives in Clarence, New York.

About Ronald J. Tanski

Tanski joined National Fuel in 1979 and has served in a variety of positions in both the Company's regulated and non-regulated businesses. He was named Controller of the Company's public utility in 1997 and was elected Controller of the parent Company in 2003. In 2004, he was named Treasurer and Principal Financial Officer of the Company and became responsible for the Company's investor relations, tax, finance and forecasting functions. His experience also includes high-level management positions at Seneca Resources Corporation in Houston, Texas, the Company's non-regulated exploration and production subsidiary; Empire Exploration, Inc., the Company's Appalachian exploration subsidiary whose operations were merged with Seneca Resources in 1994; and Horizon Energy Development, Inc. Tanski earned an MBA and a law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and has served on the Board of Directors of the Western New York/Northwestern Pennsylvania chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is a member of the Council on Accountancy at Canisius College, and the Texas State and Erie County Bar Associations. Tanski lives in Tonawanda, New York.

National Fuel is an integrated energy company with $3.7 billion in assets comprising five principal operating segments: Utility, Pipeline and Storage, Exploration and Production, Energy Marketing, and Timber. Additional information about the Company is available at http://www.nationalfuelgas.com or through its investor information service at 1 (800) 334-2188.

CONTACT:
National Fuel Gas Company
Julie Coppola Cox, 716-857-7079

Analysts:
Margaret Suto, 716-857-6987

Media:
Julie Coppola Cox, 716-857-7079

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Disclosure: Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

National Fuel Gas Company is including the following cautionary statement in this corporate website to make applicable and take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for any forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, the Company.

Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding future prospects, plans, objectives, goals, projections, estimates of oil and gas quantities, strategies, future events or performance and underlying assumptions, capital structure, anticipated capital expenditures, completion of construction projects, projections for pension and other post-retirement benefit obligations, impacts of the adoption of new accounting rules, and possible outcomes of litigation or regulatory proceedings, as well as statements that are identified by the use of the words "anticipates," "estimates," "expects," "forecasts," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "projects," "believes," "seeks," "will," "may" and similar expressions. All forward-looking statements, whether written or oral and whether made by or on behalf of the Company, are expressly qualified by these cautionary statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.

The Company's expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and are believed by the Company to have a reasonable basis, but there can be no assurance that management's expectations, beliefs or projections will result or be achieved or accomplished.

In addition to other factors and matters discussed elsewhere in this website, the following are important factors that, in the view of the Company, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements:

  1. Changes in laws, regulations or judicial interpretations to which the Company is subject, including those involving derivatives, taxes, safety, employment, climate change, other environmental matters, real property, and exploration and production activities such as hydraulic fracturing;
  2. Delays or changes in costs or plans with respect to Company projects or related projects of other companies, including difficulties or delays in obtaining necessary governmental approvals, permits or orders or in obtaining the cooperation of interconnecting facility operators;
  3. Governmental/regulatory actions, initiatives and proceedings, including those involving rate cases (which address, among other things, target rates of return, rate design and retained natural gas), environmental/safety requirements, affiliate relationships, industry structure, and franchise renewal;
  4. Changes in the price of natural gas or oil;
  5. Impairments under the SEC’s full cost ceiling test for natural gas and oil reserves;
  6. Financial and economic conditions, including the availability of credit, and occurrences affecting the Company’s ability to obtain financing on acceptable terms for working capital, capital expenditures and other investments, including any downgrades in the Company’s credit ratings and changes in interest rates and other capital market conditions;
  7. Factors affecting the Company’s ability to successfully identify, drill for and produce economically viable natural gas and oil reserves, including among others geology, lease availability, title disputes, weather conditions, shortages, delays or unavailability of equipment and services required in drilling operations, insufficient gathering, processing and transportation capacity, the need to obtain governmental approvals and permits, and compliance with environmental laws and regulations;
  8. Increasing health care costs and the resulting effect on health insurance premiums and on the obligation to provide other post-retirement benefits; 
  9. Changes in price differentials between similar quantities of natural gas or oil at different geographic locations, and the effect of such changes on commodity production, revenues and demand for pipeline transportation capacity to or from such locations;
  10. Other changes in price differentials between similar quantities of natural gas or oil having different quality, heating value, hydrocarbon mix or delivery date;
  11. The cost and effects of legal and administrative claims against the Company or activist shareholder campaigns to effect changes at the Company;
  12. Uncertainty of oil and gas reserve estimates;
  13. Significant differences between the Company’s projected and actual production levels for natural gas or oil;
  14. Changes in demographic patterns and weather conditions;
  15. Changes in the availability, price or accounting treatment of derivative financial instruments;
  16. Changes in laws, actuarial assumptions, the interest rate environment and the return on plan/trust assets related to the Company’s pension and other post-retirement benefits, which can affect future funding obligations and costs and plan liabilities;
  17. Changes in economic conditions, including global, national or regional recessions, and their effect on the demand for, and customers’ ability to pay for, the Company’s products and services;
  18. The creditworthiness or performance of the Company’s key suppliers, customers and counterparties;
  19. The impact of information technology, cybersecurity or data security breaches;
  20. Economic disruptions or uninsured losses resulting from major accidents, fires, severe weather, natural disasters, terrorist activities or acts of war;
  21. Significant differences between the Company’s projected and actual capital expenditures and operating expenses; or
  22. Increasing costs of insurance, changes in coverage and the ability to obtain insurance.

The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date thereof.