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FERC Adds to Pipelines' Financial Reporting Burden

FERC last Thursday issued a final rule that revises the financial forms, statements and reports submitted by interstate natural gas pipelines to provide the agency and shippers with more current market and cost information about pipelines.

The reporting changes would provide shippers with access to more pipe financial data in Form No. 2, on which shippers rely when they file complaints under Section 5 of the Natural Gas Act. The Form 2 information has become increasingly important to shippers as Section 4 rate cases filed by interstate pipelines have dropped in the past decade, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

"Form 2 is the only source of information to many on pipeline rates," said Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff. Chairman Joseph Kelliher noted that the rule would provide an "additional safeguard against unjust pipeline rates," giving the public more information without placing an undue burden on pipes.

Specifically, the rule revises Form 2, annual reports for major natural gas companies; Form 2-A, annual reports for non-major natural gas companies; and Form 3-Q, quarterly financial reports of electric utilities, licensees and natural gas companies [RM07-9]. Pipes will be required to file expanded financial data, as well as information about affiliate transactions.

The rule will affect 118 companies under FERC jurisdiction, the Commission said.

The changes are effective Jan. 1. Revised Form 3-Q quarterly reports would be filed beginning with the first quarter of 2009, while revised Forms 2 and 2-A for calendar year 2008 would be filed by April 30, 2009, according to FERC. The rule also would eliminate the requirement to file FERC Form 11, natural gas pipeline company quarterly statements of monthly data; and to give interstate pipes until May 18 of the year following the submittal of annual and quarterly forms to file the report of certification.

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