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FERC Grants Rehearing for Issues Related to Midla Abandonment

FERC issued an order granting rehearing for further consideration to American Midstream Partners LP in a matter related to the company's desire to abandon its 88-year-old Midla pipeline system in Louisiana and Mississippi.

On Monday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said American Midstream's request for a rehearing had been submitted in a timely fashion [RP-14-1029]. The order did not specify when the rehearing would take place.

Two months ago, FERC approved American Midstream's request to add language to its tariff giving the company the authority to obtain capacity rights on upstream and downstream pipelines, including intrastate pipelines. Specifically, American Midstream would use its new authority to acquire off-system capacity rights from its affiliate, Mid Louisiana Gas Transmission LLC.

According to a FERC filing from July, American Midstream told regulators that after it enters into a firm transportation agreement with Mid Louisiana, the company will be able to reroute gas service for several customers in the area of Baton Rouge, LA, enabling it to avoid using a section of the Midla pipeline system.

"In order to afford additional time for consideration of the matters raised or to be raised, rehearing of the Commission's order is hereby granted for the limited purpose of further consideration, and timely-filed rehearing requests will not be deemed denied by operation of law," FERC said in its order Monday. "Rehearing requests of the above-cited order filed in this proceeding will be addressed in a future order."

The 370-mile Midla pipeline system was built in 1926, traverses Louisiana and Mississippi, and in the early to mid-1970s carried up to 300 MMcf/d.

Last March, Denver-based American Midstream announced plans to abandon the Midla system after negotiations with customers over repairs to the pipeline broke down and the company didn't receive any interest in an open season (see Daily GPI, March 13). The company then filed an application with FERC to abandon the pipeline [CP-14-125]. Some state and federal lawmakers are opposed to the proposal, arguing that natural gas customers in the region would suffer as a result (see Daily GPI, April 7).

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