National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) (“National Fuel” or the “Company”) today announced the election of David F. Smith to the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors. Smith succeeds Philip C. Ackerman, who held the position since 2002. Mr. Smith commented: “I am honored to follow a long line of such capable Chairmen of the Board, starting back from Phil Ackerman to Bernie Kennedy and Lou Reif. Our former Chairmen, men of vision and energy, set in motion a strategic plan to evolve a regional utility into a national company with significant growth opportunities in natural gas exploration and production, interstate pipeline and midstream businesses.” Smith went on to say, “Under the guidance of Phil Ackerman’s steady hand and strong leadership, our Company delivered consistently outstanding performance and is well positioned for continued growth. During his tenure as Chairman and more than 40-year career at National Fuel, Phil was instrumental in growing the Company into the robust, diversified energy corporation that it is today. I look forward to working with the Board and the Company’s management team as we continue to build on that success.” Smith, 56, joined the Company in 1978 and has been President of National Fuel since 2006. In 2007, he was elected to the Company’s Board of Directors and in 2008 he was named Chief Executive Officer. Smith has also served as President of National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation, National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Empire Pipeline, Inc., and National Fuel Resources, Inc. Smith, a Buffalo native, is a 1974 graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He also received a Law degree in 1978 from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. Smith presently serves on the following Boards: The Business Council of New York State, The Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (Chairman), the Buffalo Niagara Partnership (Executive Committee), the American Gas Association, the American Gas Foundation, the Gas Technology Institute and the University at Buffalo Law School’s Dean’s Advisory Council.
The Company also announces the re-election, at today’s Annual Meeting of Stockholders, of Philip C. Ackerman, Craig G. Matthews, Richard G. Reiten and David F. Smith to the Company’s Board of Directors. These directors have been elected to serve for a term that is to expire in 2013. Ackerman has served on the Board since 1994, is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Company from October 2001 to February 2008 and the former Chairman of the Board of National Fuel. Matthews has been a Director since 2005, and is the former President, CEO and a Director of NUI Corporation, a diversified energy company acquired by AGL Resources Inc. in 2004. Before joining NUI, Matthews spent 36 years with KeySpan Corporation (formerly Brooklyn Union Gas company), serving in a number of high-level positions including Chief Financial Officer. Reiten, on the Board since 2004, was the Chairman and a Director of Northwest Natural Gas Company, a natural gas local distribution company headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Reiten also served in executive positions at Portland General Electric Company and Portland General Corporation. Smith has been a Director since 2007.In other matters, the Board of Directors approved payment of a regular quarterly dividend of 33.5 cents per share on the Company’s common stock. The dividend is payable April 15, 2010 to shareholders of record on March 31, 2010. National Fuel has paid dividends for 107 consecutive years and has increased its annual dividend for 39 straight years. In June 2009, the dividend was increased by 3.1 percent. National Fuel is an integrated energy company with $4.8 billion in assets comprised of the following four operating segments: Exploration and Production, Pipeline and Storage, Utility, and Energy Marketing. Additional information about National Fuel and its operations is available at www.nationalfuelgas.com or by calling its Investor Service at 1-800-334-2188.