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FERC Denies Natural's Request to Hold Off on Setting HDP Safe Harbor Level

FERC on Friday denied an emergency request of Natural Gas Pipeline Co. of America (NGPL) for reconsideration of an order that set for hearing the issue of the appropriate hydrocarbon dew point (HDP) safe harbor level on the pipeline's system.

Natural submitted the emergency request in late May, arguing that it was "ill advised" for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to pursue proceedings involving an HDP safe harbor level for a single pipeline, when the agency appeared to be on the verge of addressing the issue on an industry-wide basis.

"Large segments of the industry appear to have reached consensus on the method for formulating the appropriate HDP safe harbor level. There has also been a recent groundswell of support for a proposed HDP safe harbor level of 15 degrees Fahrenheit, the same as that proposed in Natural's testimony in this proceeding. Therefore a hearing relating to the appropriate HDP safe harbor level on Natural's system should await development of Commission policy," the Kinder Morgan pipeline said at the time [RP01-503].

The pipeline asked that its case be suspended until the agency acts on industry recommendations made in the Natural Gas Council's white papers on natural gas quality and interchangeability, or on a pending rulemaking request by the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA). The Natural Gas Council white papers, which address gas quality and interchangeability specifications, were submitted to FERC in February.

The NGSA, which represents major producers, in mid-May petitioned FERC to issue a rule adopting national HDP and interchangeability specifications for natural gas being delivered through the national pipeline system, as well as for non-discriminatory application of the specifications in the tariffs of all interstate pipelines (see Daily GPI, May 17).

In a terse order issued Friday, FERC noted that Alliance Pipeline LP, Indicated Shippers and Aux Sable Liquid Products LP opposed Natural's request. The "emergency request for reconsideration is hereby denied."

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