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Williams executes gas purchase agreements with Empire District Electric

OWENSBORO, Ky., May 20, 2002 — A unit of Williams and The Empire District Electric Co. announced recently the execution of agreements in which Williams will provide up to 63,800 dekatherms per day of firm natural gas transportation service to Empire’s power generation facilities near Joplin, Mo.

Empire was a successful bidder during a recent open season for shippers interested in firm gas transportation service created by Williams proposed Southwest Missouri Expansion Project. In order to meet the agreement with Empire, Williams will seek permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to build approximately 16-miles of 20-inch diameter pipeline and make other facility modifications along its Central system. Williams proposes to have the new facilities in service by June 1, 2003.

This will be Williams’ second expansion in three years to serve the growing power generation needs of Empire. In 2000, Williams added 37 miles of 20-inch diameter pipeline and related facilities to provide an additional 55,000 dekatherms per day to Empire.

“Williams has developed an outstanding business relationship with Empire by providing flexible, economic natural gas service for the company’s fast-growing power generation market. We are pleased to again expand our facilities to help Empire fuel improved quality of life and economic development across its service territory,” said Jim Moore, vice president of planning and development for Williams’ gas pipeline unit.

“Empire continues to receive cost-effective gas transportation service from Williams that assures reliable fuel supplies for our generation resources and ultimately, reliable electric supply for Empire customers,” said Richard McCord, director, energy, marketing and trading for Empire.

Williams’ interstate natural gas pipeline system spans the continental United States with access to major supply areas and energy markets. The company’s gas pipeline operation is based in Houston and has offices in Salt Lake City and Owensboro.

Based in Joplin, Mo., The Empire District Electric Co. is an investor-owned utility providing electric service to approximately, 150,000 customers in southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. The company also provides water service in three incorporated communities in Missouri, monitored security, fiber optic service, and decorative lighting. More information about Empire is available at www.empiredistrict.com.

About Williams
Williams moves, manages and markets a variety of energy products, including natural gas, liquid hydrocarbons, petroleum and electricity. Our operations span the energy value chain from wellhead to burner tip. Williams information is available at www.williams.com.