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El Paso Denies it Violates GISB Confirmation Rules

El Paso Denies it Violates GISB Confirmation Rules

El Paso Natural Gas last week denied accusations of Northwest Pipeline that it has routinely violated the confirmation and scheduling deadlines established by the Gas Industry Standards Board (GISB).

"Contrary to its allegations, El Paso strictly adheres to GISB procedures and deadlines," El Paso told the Commission [RP00-168]. It urged FERC to dismiss the complaint filed by Northwest last month.

In the complaint, Northwest accused El Paso of making adjustments to confirmed amounts scheduled to flow between the two pipeline system "after" the confirmation deadline, creating scheduled quantity discrepancies for shippers on Northwest. Northwest said GISB rules require changes to confirmed amounts to be made "prior" to the confirmation deadline. The complaint asked the Commission to order El Paso to comply with the GISB standards by honoring the confirmations that it sends before deadline.

But El Paso contends that what Northwest describes as a "late confirmation" is actually just part of the scheduling process and is allowed under GISB rules. "It is the normal operation of the scheduling process, not so-called 'late confirmations.' that.....some transactions inevitably produce differences between the flows nominated by shippers, the quantity 'confirmed' as available, and the amount ultimately scheduled."

Even when there are differences between nominated and confirmed amounts, "typically they are relatively minor in [size] and do not cause the sort of disruption that Northwest's complaint implies," El Paso said.

Northwest said it has tried to personally resolve the situation with El Paso and even turned to FERC's Enforcement Hotline for help, but was rebuffed at each turn. It contends El Paso's alleged GISB violations have resulted in the "devaluation of Northwest's capacity" because of the uncertainty surrounding the delivery of gas to and receipt of gas from El Paso. Susan Parker

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