PSC approves increased gas surcharge





Mo. | The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved a request filed by Missouri Gas Energy to adjust an infrastructure system replacement surcharge on customer bills.

The current surcharge for MGE’s residential customers is $0.29 a month. Because of this rate case, residential customers will pay a surcharge of $0.71 a month effective May 22.

The adjustment reflects infrastructure replacement investments made by the natural gas company from Sept. 1, 2014, through Feb. 28. Costs for natural gas pipeline replacements and relocation are not being included in the rates at this time.

The surcharge first appeared on customer bills in April 2004.

The utility serves approximately 503,000 customers in Missouri.

— News-Press report

J.C. Penney’s 1Q loss narrows

PLANO, Texas | J.C. Penney Co. raised its guidance for a key sales measure as it reported a narrower loss in the first quarter than it had a year ago.

The results offered some encouragement for investors who are worried about the company’s slow turnaround. Penney has been trying to recover from a disastrous reinvention push by former CEO Ron Johnson.

Under Johnson’s tenure, the company had alienated customers and lost billions of dollars in revenue in getting rid of discounting and some basic merchandise. Johnson was fired in April 2013.

To help get the company back on track, the board brought back Mike Ullman out of retirement. He has been restoring sales and some of the goods that Johnson got rid of. Last year, the company named Marvin Ellison, a former executive at Home Depot, as president. He is designated to take over as CEO in August.

Kuwait stops production in 200,000 barrel-a-day oil fields

KUWAIT CITY | Kuwait’s oil minister said the country will shut down production for at least two weeks at the Wafra oil fields that produce around 200,000 barrels a day.

Ali al-Omair said time of the resumption of production in the fields will be decided after two weeks of “maintenance.” He spoke to the state-run Kuwait News Agency on Wednesday during a visit to neighboring Qatar.

The Wafra fields, which lie in a neutral zone between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, are jointly operated and developed by the two countries.

Industry experts and local newspapers said the closure may also have been prompted by a dispute between the Gulf-allied nations over oil firm operators in the fields.