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AGA

 2/22/2010 

AGA Contacts:
Jennifer O’Shea, 202-824-7023
Jake Rubin, 202-824-7027

 AGA Requests Clarification from FERC on Pipeline Posting Requirements   

 
   

AGA remains supportive of market transparency efforts that foster greater confidence in natural gas price formation, and continues to support FERC’s overall goal of obtaining information that is meaningful and necessary to assess whether wholesale natural gas prices accurately reflect supply and demand fundamentals

Washington, DC – The American Gas Association (AGA) today released the following comments seeking clarification of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)’s rules regarding pipeline posting requirements under Section 23 the Natural Gas Act.  These rules require major non-interstate pipelines to post on their internet websites daily scheduled volume information at high-volume receipt and delivery points.

AGA remains supportive of market transparency efforts that foster greater confidence in natural gas price formation, and continues to support FERC’s overall goal of obtaining information that is meaningful and necessary to assess whether wholesale natural gas prices accurately reflect supply and demand fundamentals. AGA believes that further clarification of the rules is needed to ensure that the reporting obligations are clearly defined and understood.

AGA recommends as follows:

  • Pipelines should not be required to post confidential or sensitive information.
    •  If a delivery point serves a single large customer, such as an industrial end-user, an electric generator, or a military installation, the daily posting of the location name and scheduled volumes, as required by the rules, may reveal confidential or sensitive customer-specific information.
    • Some states prohibit the disclosure of customer information without the customer’s consent.
    • AGA requests that FERC provide pipelines with the flexibility they need to post the information required by the rules in a way that avoids potential conflicts with state law or other regulatory requirements regarding the disclosure of confidential or sensitive information.
  • If a pipeline becomes subject to the posting requirements in the future, it should have until July 1 to comply with the rules.
    •  Major non-interstate pipelines that are currently subject to the rule have been given until July 1, 2010, to comply with the rules.
      o FERC should clarify the compliance deadline for pipelines that become subject to the rules in the future.
    • FERC should give pipelines ample time to make the calculations necessary to determine whether they are subject to the rules and then at least 150 days to develop the information systems and Internet resources to comply.
    • In any future year in which a pipeline becomes subject to the rules, FERC should give the pipeline until July 1 of that year to comply.
  •  FERC should clarify when a point becomes eligible for posting.
    • Under the rules, a pipeline must post data for a receipt or delivery point within 45 days of when the point becomes eligible for posting.
    • For a new point with a physically metered design capacity, the date of eligibility should be when volumes are first scheduled to that point.
    •  For points where the physically metered design capacity is not known or does not exist, the eligibility date should be February 1 to allow pipelines sufficient time after the 1st  of the year to collect and analyze the scheduled volume data necessary to determine whether the point is eligible.
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The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 71 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 94 percent — over 68 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets almost one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.

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