FERC has ordered an evidentiary hearing to resolve eight issues that shippers have contested in Texas Eastern Transmission’s (Tetco) gas quality and interchangeability tariff proposal.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) “finds that the comments and reply comments…raise questions of fact with respect to stipulated issues Nos. 1 through 8 that are best resolved in the context of an evidentiary hearing. Therefore the Commission will establish a hearing in this proceeding before an administrative law judge,” the FERC order said [RP10-30]. The list of stipulated issues was compiled and submitted to FERC for resolution following a technical conference between Tetco and shippers in December.

The eight stipulated, contested issues are:

While the contested issues are being resolved in hearing, Tetco’s tariff filing with respect to gas quality and interchangeability issues — which FERC accepted and suspended last October — is expected to go into effect April 1. The Commission also approved a six-month waiver on transition to the new standards.

“We find that the proposed six-month waiver proposed by Texas Eastern is just and reasonable and provides shippers time and flexibility to make a transition to the new standards that will go into effect April 1. Thus, we approve the waiver and reject the protests.

“We also find it reasonable and consistent…for Texas Eastern to be able to suspend the waiver if certain receipts cause operational problems on the system or will cause gas to be delivered at specific delivery points to be nonconforming.”

Tetco’s tariff proposal calls for a maximum higher heating value of 1,110 Btu/standard cubic foot (scf); a minimum Wobbe Number of 1314 and maximum Wobbe Number of 1400; maximum nonhydrocarbon gas level of 4%; combined carbon dioxide and nitrogen level of 4%; reduction in carbon dioxide to 2% from 3%; maximum combined nitrogen and oxygen level of 2.75%; reduction in oxygen level to 0.1% from 0.2%; reduction in sulfur level to five grains per 100 scf from 10 grains per 100 scf; C2+ level of 12%; butanes and heavier hydrocarbons 1.5%; and liquefiable hydrocarbons, a maximum safe harbor of 0.032 gallons per thousand cubic feet of C6+.

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