A final rule voted out Wednesday by the Federal EnergyRegulatory Commission sets June 1, 1999 as the date when allpipelines must provide all information and conduct all businessusing the public Internet and standardized protocols.

The rule was scheduled to be published today. An outlineprovided by the Commission Wednesday calls for a uniform system toallow shippers to move gas across multiple pipelines. It requirespipelines to: adhere to the latest version of business practicestandards (Version 1.2) adopted by the Gas Industry Standards Board(GISB); give firm intra-day nominations priority over alreadynominated and scheduled interruptible service; permit firmintra-day nominations submitted on the day prior to gas flow to gointo effect at 9 a.m. the following day. (Intra-day nominations arethose submitted after the 11:30 a.m. deadline that change anominated quantity for the next day.)

The rule requires pipelines enter into operational balancingagreements (OBAs) at all intrastate and interstatepipeline-to-pipeline interconnects; permit shippers to offerimbalances across contracts and trade imbalances among themselveswhen they have a similar impact on the pipeline’s systems. Alsorequired is notification to shippers of critical events by postingsto pipeline Web sites and via Internet e-mail or notification toshippers’ Internet addresses.

Pipelines must adopt Version 1.2 of GISB standards and meetstandards for posting information on pipeline Web sites by thefirst day of the month following 90 days after publication of theorder in the Federal Register. Implementation of intra-daynominations, OBAs, imbalance trading and critical noticeregulations is deferred until GISB develops and the Commissionadopts the necessary technical standards. The Commissioncontemplates a Sept. 1, 1998 implementation date for all intra-daynomination standards. OBAs and imbalance trading standards areexpected by June 30, 1998, and critical notice standards areexpected by Dec. 31, 1998.

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