FERC issues reporting rule for intrastate gas pipelines

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, May 25 -- The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a ruling on May 20 that is designed to make natural gas prices more transparent by requiring intrastate pipelines involved in interstate service to report transportation and storage transaction information more frequently and in more detail.

The rule, which is effective Apr. 1, 2011, requires intrastate pipelines operating under Section 311 of the 1978 Natural Gas Policy Act and Hinshaw pipelines operating under Section 1, Subsection C of the Natural Gas Act to provide more detailed information quarterly instead of semiannually or annually, FERC said.

FERC said the quarterly reporting requirement will help shippers make more informed purchasing decision and improve the ability of both shippers and FERC to monitor actual transactions for evidence of market power or undue discrimination. FERC also is extending its cycle of periodic reviews of rates charged by these pipelines to 5 years from 3 years.

It noted that intrastate pipelines normally aren’t subject to FERC jurisdiction so their operators will be encouraged to participate in the interstate pipeline network. Hinshaw pipelines also operate within a single state but may receive gas from outside the state without falling under the commission’s NGA jurisdiction so long as all the gas is consumed within the state and regulated by a state commission, the federal regulator said.

The new rule replaces the Form 549 Intrastate Pipeline Annual Transportation Report with a new Form 549D on which pipelines will be required to report rates charged under each contract; receipt and delivery points and zones or segments covered by each contract; the quantity of gas the shipper is entitled to transport, store, or deliver; the duration of the contract; and whether there is an affiliate relationship between the pipeline and shipper, according to FERC.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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