By Bob Weaver

Energy giant Enron is facing imminent bankruptcy with $61 billion in assets, the largest collapse of such a company in history. Friday, the companies shares dropped to the bottom, overseas operations wound down and companies with possible exposure closed ranks.

The collapse is impacting local energy producers in Calhoun, Roane and Wirt and other parts of West Virginia, resulting in some local lay-offs. Enron had contracts to buy local production.

Several local companies are scurrying to find a new buyer for their gas, and evaluating how to get from under Enron contracts, which may be binding for a while.

Local companies will not likely be paid for their gas sales during the months of October and November, which creates a significant financial problem for small concerns in the area.

Enron has 30,000 miles of pipeline and 15,000 miles of fiber optic lines, among other holdings.

The Enron bankruptcy far exceeds the Texaco collapse in 1987 which claimed $36 billion in assets.

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