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INGAA Seeks Rehearing of Sea Robin Remand

August 2, 1999
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INGAA Seeks Rehearing of Sea Robin Remand

A major pipeline group last week sought rehearing of FERC's remand decision on Sea Robin Pipeline on the grounds that it failed to include the "behind-the-plant" factor when determining the jurisdictional status of the offshore gas pipeline.

This "is the first time that the Commission has declined, in a particular case ripe for judicial review, to include the behind-the-plant factor as one element of the appropriate test for establishing the Commission's NGA jurisdiction over offshore facilities," the Interstate Gas Association of America (INGAA) said [CP95-168-002].

In weighing the "behind-the-plant" factor, FERC in the past routinely has found that offshore facilities located upstream of processing facilities were non-jurisdictional in nature, and those downstream of such facilities were jurisdictional, INGAA noted. Based on this factor and others, Sea Robin - which transports raw natural gas - should have been found to be totally exempt from Commission jurisdiction, it told FERC.

Instead, FERC in late June decided to split the baby on Sea Robin, ruling that half of the offshore pipeline's offshore facilities were exempt gathering and half were jurisdictional transportation. Specifically, it said Sea Robin's facilities upstream of the Vermillion 149 platform were gathering, while its pipeline facilities (a 66-mile, 36-inch line) downstream of the platform were transmission in nature.

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