MMS publishes offshore pipelines open-access rule

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, June 23 -- The US Minerals Management Service published a final open access rule for offshore oil and gas pipelines on June 18. The rule, which becomes effective Aug. 18, mandates that pipeline operators provide open and nondiscriminatory services, the Department of Interior agency said.

"The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requires operators of pipelines to provide such access to owner and nonowner shippers for every permit, license, easement, or right-of-way issued to a pipeline for transportation of oil or gas on or across the Outer Continental Shelf," explained George Tribsch, MMS's associate director for policy and management improvement.

He said the new regulation will provide procedures for filing a formal complaint with MMS for shippers who believe they have been denied open and nondiscriminatory access to an offshore pipeline. A more informal, toll-free hotline also will be available for shippers to discuss problems they may be having, Tribsch said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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