A major pipeline group last week sought rehearing of FERC’sremand decision on Sea Robin Pipeline on the grounds that it failedto include the “behind-the-plant” factor when determining thejurisdictional status of the offshore gas pipeline.

This “is the first time that the Commission has declined, in aparticular case ripe for judicial review, to include thebehind-the-plant factor as one element of the appropriate test forestablishing the Commission’s NGA jurisdiction over offshorefacilities,” the Interstate Gas Association of America (INGAA) said[CP95-168-002].

In weighing the “behind-the-plant” factor, FERC in the pastroutinely has found that offshore facilities located upstream ofprocessing facilities were non-jurisdictional in nature, and thosedownstream of such facilities were jurisdictional, INGAA noted.Based on this factor and others, Sea Robin – which transports rawnatural gas – should have been found to be totally exempt fromCommission jurisdiction, it told FERC.

Instead, FERC in late June decided to split the baby on SeaRobin, ruling that half of the offshore pipeline’s offshorefacilities were exempt gathering and half were jurisdictionaltransportation. Specifically, it said Sea Robin’s facilitiesupstream of the Vermillion 149 platform were gathering, while itspipeline facilities (a 66-mile, 36-inch line) downstream of theplatform were transmission in nature.

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