Kinder Morgan’s Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL)moved a step closer to fulfilling its year-and-a-half-old promiseto FERC yesterday, with the announcement that Akili, an e-businesscompany, has moved into an application and development phase of theonline capacity auction project for the pipeline system. The targetcompletion date of the auction application is mid-March, Akilisaid.

If finished on time, this project would represent the firstservice in which a pipeline system could hold a public, onlineauction for its capacity.

Akili is designing and developing this auction system byfocusing on critical capabilities, while providing NGPL with anexpandable and scalable product, the e-business company said. Thecompany had already helped Kinder Morgan define the businessprocess for electronically auctioning capacity and is now in theInternet application development phase of the project.

“Our goal is to take their manual processes, which includedfaxable bids an spreadsheets, and automate it. The end result isthat an Internet bid would follow the same principles of the oldmanual process, but it would be faster and run with moreefficiency,” said Beth Miller, a spokeswoman for Akili.

FERC and what was then KN Energy first agreed to the onlineauction for NGPL in August of 1998. Its progression from a proposalto an actual method has undergone close scrutiny both by FERC andother companies in the industry. Under Natural’s settlement, thepipeline would post all firm transportation and storage capacity atleast 15 months before the date the capacity would becomeavailable.

Akili, headquartered in Dallas with an office in Houston, is arapidly growing Internet integrator specializing in Web design anddevelopment, and back-end application integration for e-businesses.

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