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Salt Lake-based Westar Marketing Co. has opened an office in Fairfield, Calif.

Westar is a marketing partnership between Questar affiliate Universal Resources Corp. and Oregon Natural Gas Development Corp., which is a subsidiary of Northwest Natural Gas Co., a natural gas distribution company headquartered in Portland, Ore.The Westar partnership, which markets unregulated natural gas, was formed in December 1987 in response to the more market-oriented conditions in the gas industry resulting from changes in federal regulation, company officials said.

"Southern California represents a rapidly growing market for natural gas. Having a Westar office there will greatly enhance our ability to take advantage of this expanding market and serve customers in that area," said Michael M. McGinley, Universal Resources vice president of marketing.

Under the Westar partnership, Universal Resources acquires gas supplies in the Rocky Mountains, Canada, the Midwest and other producing areas and arranges for transportation to the Pacific Northwest, Nevada and California.