GISB Approves Two Standards For Web Commerce

The Gas Industry Standards Board (GISB) executive committee (EC) approved standards for World Wide Web-based electronic commerce and title transfer tracking last week. The EC approved the first part of a series of standards designed to provide a 13-month transition for interstate gas pipelines from electronic bulletin boards to interactive Web sites.

The standards approved relate to the overall structure of Web-based commerce and the specific standards for nominations and would be implemented by September. The plan calls for further standards related to flowing gas, invoicing capacity, capacity release and contracting to be approved at later EC meetings and phased in over the following 13 months. All standards are to be implemented by October 2000.

On title transfer tracking, the EC approved a set of standards but delayed their implementation until the later of June 1, 2000 or eight months after the standards are published. The timetable was adopted to allay concerns that other changes called for by GISB standards, such as intraday nominations and the use of the Internet, as well as the Y2K transition, would make it impossible to implement title transfer tracking any sooner.

"The EC's decisions resolve two of the most difficult issues confronting the natural gas industry," said EC Chairman Mike Bray, Duke Energy vice president for corporate and regulatory affairs. "The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has expressed particular interest in the Internet transition and title transfer tracking, so it was particularly gratifying that we were able to take final action on these matters by the end of 1998."

Joe Fisher, Houston

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