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El Paso Pooling Scheduled for Technical Conference Again

El Paso Pooling Scheduled for Technical Conference Again

If you thought a new pooling system on El Paso Natural Gas would be approved in time for summer vacation, it looks like you may have to sweat it out for another season. After more than a year of hair pulling scrutiny and debate, FERC has decided to reject El Paso's March 16 filing for scheduling gas pooling transactions on its system and convene yet another technical conference on the complex matter.

Last fall, the Commission agreed to allow El Paso to limit pooling transactions on its system to 10, including two multidirectional transfers. It rejected linear pooling and instead required El Paso to allow multi-directional pooling. El Paso complied but said it would have to create a ranking system.

El Paso's proposed priority ranking method for gas pooling chains, in which chains are weighted by the number of transactions in the chain, "may have merit," the Commission said. "However, the problem remains as to how this should be implemented." A previous technical conference revealed the proposal is not well understood by shippers.

"As proposed, El Paso would give some kind of greater priority to shorter [transaction] chains over longer chains, but what ranking factors El Paso will use [has not been] provided," FERC said. As a result, the Commission rejected the filing and decided to give El Paso one more chance to explain its proposal at a technical conference to be held within the next four months.

Rocco Canonica

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