FERC last Thursday proposed revisions to the financial forms, statements and reports submitted by interstate natural gas pipelines to give the agency and shippers 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 the rate of Section 4 rate filings by interstate pipelines has dropped in the past decade, FERC said. "I'm an enthusiast on [providing more data in ] Form 2," said Chairman Joseph Kelliher.

Specifically, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is seeking public comment on its proposed revisions to 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.

"We have seen a fall in the number of general rate cases since we eliminated the triennial restatement of rates in Order 636 and, in some cases, pipeline rates have not been reviewed for more than a decade. These changes will provide more detail so the Commission and the public can assess whether pipeline rates are just and reasonable. This proposed rule [also] will assure public access to information that is a sufficient basis for a Section 5 rate complaint," Kelliher said.

The proposed changes would take effect on 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 agency also proposes to 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.

In a concurrent case last Thursday, FERC issued a notice of inquiry (NOI) seeking comment on several specific proposals for natural gas rate recovery of fuel, and lost and unaccounted-for gas [RM07-20]. The NOI wants to know whether the current method of cost recovery used by pipelines should be changed to a more uniform recovery method.

Comments on the proposed changes to the reporting requirements are due within 45 days, and within 60 days on the NOI..

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