Power & Pipes

FERC, CFTC, and State Energy Law Developments

In a move that will save the industry about $400,000 each year, on January 19, 2012, FERC eliminated the semiannual storage reporting requirements for (i) interstate pipelines transacting under the Natural Gas Act and (ii) intrastate and Hinshaw pipelines that provide interstate services under section 311 of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 and section 284.224 of the Commission’s regulations, respectively, finding them duplicative with other reporting requirements.[1] This elimination was the result of FERC’s continuing effort to streamline and update its regulations.

Prior to the Final Rule, pipelines were required to file reports within 30 days of the end of each complete storage injection and withdrawal season. For interstate pipelines, FERC determined that other reporting requirements, such as daily website postings, present similar information in a more standardized and accessible form. Although the website postings do not provide individual shipper injection and withdrawal information, which was included in the semiannual reports, FERC concluded that they provide information about the availability of capacity at the time shippers seek to schedule capacity. Shippers are thereBy provided with price transparency, which will help them make informed purchasing decisions. Additionally, storage providers are required to provide the per-unit rates charged to each customer in the website posting, which allows shippers and FERC to monitor the storage provider’s actions for potential market power abuse or discriminatory practices. For intrastate pipelines and Hinshaw pipelines, FERC concluded that the semiannual storage reporting requirements also overlap with the quarterly reporting requirement imposed By section 284.126 of the Commission’s regulations. With the exception of reporting per-customer storage revenues, the quarterly reports include the same types of information about firm and interruptible storage transactions as the semiannual storage reports and are made public in a standardized electronic format.

[1] Storage Reporting Requirements and Interstate and Intrastate Natural Gas Companies, 138 FERC ¶ 61,033 (issued Jan. 19, 2012) (“Final Rule”).