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1998-05-02 13:40:32


Lonely Natural Gas Company Reveals Y2K Plans


Search the Web for information on the Year 2000 and natural gas transmission, and you can't find much. There is a site with links to numerous natural gas companies. The same site also includes links to industry support organizations. You might snoop around to find anything relevant to y2k. If you try this and find something good, send me the link:

Typical is the approach of this local gas company: mention y2k only in relation to the reader's microcomputer or business. Banks are using this ploy regularly. So are electrical power companies. This makes it look as though the public utility is not trapped by the millennium bug.

One reader sent me a printed newsletter from one company that admitted the problem and promised the usual solutions and the usual deadline for testing: December 31, 1998.

This is from National Fuel's ENERGY TEAM NEWS (March/April 1998). Address: 10 Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203.

I went to National Fuel's Web site, searched for Year 2000, and got zero hits.

* * * * * * * *

With the Year 2000 comes a critical challenge that faces not only National Fuel, but ALL companies world-wide. . . . Our Company has stepped up to address these issues and to avoid business and financial risks, legal exposure, regulatory noncompliance, competitive risk and damage to our reputation. The goal is to make the Year 2000 problem a "non-event" at National Fuel.

What is National Fuel doing about the problem?

A corporate Year 2000 team is in place to deal with this widespread issue. . . .

I.S. [Information Services] personnel have finished a detailed assessment, which identified the scope of the problem as well as provided an estimate of the time and resources necessary to correct it. This work involved 62 individual business applications that translated into 33,353 objects and 6.6 million lines of code. Estimates indicate approximately 9,000 hours of work will be necessary to correct the problem and test the solution. Approximately two-thirds of these hours will be consumed by comprehensive testing. This correction and testing is in progress and has been scheduled for completion no later than December 31, 1998. . . .

Letters have been sent to vendors to ask if their products and services will continue to perform as expected after January 1, 2000. This involves approximately 50 vendors that are responsible for 200 products and services. If these services and products are not Year 2000 compliant, written information has been requested about when the compliant products and services will be available. I.S. will then schedule the testing and implementation of these compliant products and services. The intent is to complete the testing and implementation of the Year 2000 compliant products and services by Decrember 31, 1998. Of course this deadline depends on the cooperation of all vendors. . . .

Letters will be sent [WILL be sent!!! -- G.N.] to vendors by both I.S. and Department heads requesting Year 2000 compliance plans for critical corporate wide products and services. Included are gas suppliers, gas pipeline companies, utilities and telecommunications vendors, companies that provide leasing services, pipeline construction contractors, providers of vehicle parts and accessories and vendors that supply pipeline supplies. Business experts in these areas will rwquest the Year 2000 compliancy plans of the involved vendors, judge their responses and determine what course of action to take.


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