WASHINGTON, DC, May 16 -- The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered a hearing to determine whether Energy Transfer Partners and three of its affiliates manipulated a market in violation of the commission's rules.
The commission also established a hearing to determine if Oasis Pipeline and two of its affiliates violated regulations governing service under Section 311 of the Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA).
ETP and the affiliates (Energy Transfer Co., ETC Marketing Ltd., and Houston Pipeline Co.) allegedly manipulated wholesale gas prices between December 2003 and December 2005 to benefit ETP's financial position and other physical positions, FERC said in a May 15 announcement.
It said it ordered a hearing before one of its administrative law judges because there are material facts in dispute that cannot be resolved on the basis of written submissions by the commission's enforcement staff and ETP.
FERC said Oasis and its affiliates, Oasis Pipeline Co. Texas LP, and ETP Texas Pipeline Co. Ltd., allegedly discriminated against nonaffiliated shippers and unduly preferred affiliates, charged rates above the commission's approved fair and equitable rate, and failed to file an amended operating statement.
Issues include whether civil penalties should be imposed for the alleged violations, whether ETP's blanket marketing certificate should be revoked, how ETP would disgorge any unjust profits that are identified, and whether any conditions should be placed on Oasis Pipeline's continued authority to provide interruptible transportation under Section 311 of the NGPA, according to FERC.
It said that under the hearing order, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will determine whether allegations against ETP and Oasis can best be addressed in one or separate hearings. Once a presiding ALJ is assigned, he or she will have 10 days to convene a prehearing conference and to establish hearing dates, FERC said.
Contact Nick Snow at email@example.com.