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

The standards approved relate to the overall structure ofWeb-based commerce and the specific standards for nominations andwould be implemented by September. The plan calls for furtherstandards related to flowing gas, invoicing capacity, capacityrelease and contracting to be approved at later EC meetings andphased in over the following 13 months. All standards are to beimplemented by October 2000.

On title transfer tracking, the EC approved a set of standardsbut delayed their implementation until the later of June 1, 2000 oreight months after the standards are published. The timetable wasadopted to allay concerns that other changes called for by GISBstandards, such as intraday nominations and the use of theInternet, as well as the Y2K transition, would make it impossibleto implement title transfer tracking any sooner.

“The EC’s decisions resolve two of the most difficult issuesconfronting 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 particularinterest in the Internet transition and title transfer tracking, soit was particularly gratifying that we were able to take finalaction on these matters by the end of 1998.”

Joe Fisher, Houston

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