FERC addresses offshore gathering jurisdiction

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has begun to examine whether it might reassert jurisdiction over offshore natural gas gathering operations.The current legal structure contains a regulatory gap that allows offshore gathering companies to collect monopoly rents, which can lead to offshore natural gas production being shut in, FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher said.Gathering facilities beyond state waters are unregulated, and state and federal regulators have no express statutory authority to oversee their costs and rates.“This regulatory gap is a particular concern in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Restoration of offshore gas production is critical to mitigating high natura...

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