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NWN Reports Results For The Third Quarter & Nine Months Ended Sept. 30, 2010

Northwest Natural Gas Company, dba NW Natural (NYSE: NWN), today reported results of operations for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2010, reflecting a net loss of $7.4 million, or 28 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $6.7 million, or 25 cents per share in the same quarter of 2009.

For the 2010 nine-month period, net income was $43.1 million per share, or $1.62 per share, compared to $43.7 million, or $1.64 per share in the first nine months of 2009.

According to Gregg Kantor, President and CEO of NW Natural, “The quarter was particularly notable for the fact that we put the Gill Ranch Storage facility in California in-service by early October, reduced gas commodity costs to their lowest level since 2004, and scored highest in the nation in the J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction rankings among gas utilities.”

Third quarter financial and operating highlights

Income and earnings per share

Results of operations produced a net loss for the 2010 third quarter of $7.4 million, or 28 cents per share for the quarter, compared to a net loss in 2009 of $6.7 million, or 25 cents per share. Results from utility operations are typically low during the third quarter due to reduced use of natural gas in summer months. As a result, the utility recorded a net loss of $9.1 million (34 cents per share) in the quarter, compared to a net loss of $9.2 million (35 cents per share) in the third quarter of 2009.

NW Natural also provides gas storage services. The gas storage business provided net income of $1.8 million (7 cents per share) in the third quarter of 2010, compared to net income of $2.3 million (9 cents per share) in 2009. These results include income from gas storage services at the Mist facility in Oregon, optimization services from the use of NW Natural’s unused storage and pipeline transportation capacity when these assets are not serving the company’s core utility customers, and start-up expenses at the Gill Ranch Storage facility near Fresno, Calif.

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