DR 95-345/DR 95-346
                         NORTHERN UTILITIES, INC.
         Precedent Agreements between Northern Utilities, Inc. and
         Granite State Gas Transmission, Inc. and Portland Natural
                          Gas Transmission, Inc.
       Order Approving Firm Transportation Agreements with Portland
        Natural Gas Transmission System for Transportation Service
                         O R D E R   N O.  22,887
                              March 30, 1998
         On February 3, 1998, Northern Utilities, Inc.
(Northern), a public utility providing natural gas service
in New Hampshire, filed with the New Hampshire Public
Utilities Commission (Commission) two Firm Transportation
Agreements (FTAs) entered into between Northern and Portland
Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS).  The agreements
were filed pursuant to NH RSA 366:3 because they represent
transactions between a utility and an affiliate.  
         In the filing, Northern stated that the FTAs
replace the Precedent Agreements (PAs) approved by the
Commission in Docket DR 95-345/346 by Order No. 22,436
(December 9, 1996). In addition, Northern asserted that the
FTAs contain substantially the same obligations as the
previously approved PAs.  Northern requested that the FTA
agreements be approved based on the record developed in the
aforementioned proceeding.
         PAs are pre-cursors to FTAs in that they represent
a binding legal obligation to sign FTAs should a proposed
pipeline reach a certain stage of regulatory approval and
development. The Commission approved the contractual
obligations between Northern and its affiliate PNGTS by
Order No. 22,436.  The Commission was advised that the FTAs
would eventually replace the PAs. 
         Commission Staff has reviewed the FTAs and concurs
with Northern that the obligations mirror the PAs, and that
the changes are editorial in nature. Staff also notes that
there is no evidence in this or any other related proceeding
to suggest that the transportation commitments are not still
optimal based on Northern's current integrated resource
         The Commission finds that the FTAs merely
formalize a previously approved legal obligation by Northern
for transportation services on PNGTS, and that the public
good is served by their execution.     
                   Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby
         ORDERED,  that the Firm Transportation Agreements
     executed by Northern Utilities Inc. and Portland Natural Gas
     Transmission System are approved.
         By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this thirtieth day of March, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth        Susan S. Geiger
            Chairman           Commissioner            Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary