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Bentek: FERC Data Inclusion to Boost Storage Transparency

In a move Bentek Energy says will "increase the transparency of the U.S. natural gas storage market significantly," the company said its daily and weekly natural gas storage reports as of Tuesday will be upgraded to include data taken from FERC Order 720 filings from intrastate pipelines.

Order 720, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2010, requires non interstate (intrastate) pipelines to post natural gas receipt and delivery points publicly, in the same manner as interstate pipelines. The majority of the new pipeline points included in the storage reports, which are located primarily in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, are the result of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order 720, the Evergreen, CO-based research and analysis firm said.

Bentek has added more than 30 additional storage facilities and nearly 100 receipt/delivery meter points to its storage analysis, increasing the size of its database from 65% of total working storage capacity in the United States to 80% of working capacity.

"This expanded market transparency comes at the start of what is expected to be another record-breaking injection season," said E. Rusty Braziel, Bentek's managing director. "It is possible that storage inventories could max out current capacities at about 4 Tcf this year, compared to last year's 3.8 Tcf peak."

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases storage data covering the previous week's period every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Bentek said its reporting of the EIA's Producing Region will "benefit the most" from adding the Order 720 data, improving coverage of the regional market from 52% of working storage capacity to 87% of the market. The EIA East Region will include eight new storage fields in the daily and weekly updates. The company added that while the sample visibility from the EIA West Region has always been high, the addition of two new storage facilities -- Totem in Colorado and Gill Ranch in California -- means Bentek's analysis will now include 90% of regional storage capacity.

Subscribers will be able to receive reports in the historical format for the first three weeks following Tuesday's roll out of the new reports. More information about Bentek's storage reports and market analytics is available at www.bentekenergy.com.

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