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ONG Makes ‘Bold’ Proposal to OK Regulators
The way one observer sees it, Oklahoma Natural Gas and ONEOK GasTransportation can ask for whatever they want in their jointrestructuring filing with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission(OCC); they won’t get everything. “It’s a pretty bold proposal. Ican tell you, ONG’s not going to get what they filed for. If you’reasking for something, you might as well ask for the moon,” said thesource, who asked to be anonymous.
Last week’s filing with the OCC details how ONG intends to carryout the competitive bidding process outlined in OCC rules adoptedin January. Under those rules, ONG will solicit competitive bidsfor upstream services, including gas transportation, storage andsupply, that are required for the operation of the company’sdistribution system. The application also identifies the upstreamassets to be owned and operated by ONEOK Gas Transportation. “Ithink people are surprised by the audacity of shifting so manyassets into distribution,” the observer said. He also noted ONG didnot file any written testimony with its plan, which is lacking dataon such things as demand, existing gas contracts and existingpipeline capacity agreements.
The filing requests permission to lower the volume requirementsfor industrial customers who wish to participate in the company’spipeline capacity lease program. It also asks the OCC forpermission to charge flat monthly rates for various classes ofcustomers. For residentials, the rate would be $17.96; for smallcommercial and industrial customers, $21.26; and for low-incomeresidentials, a discounted flat rate of $12.98. Currently,customers pay the utility through a step rate system tied to theamount of gas flowing through their meters. Spokesman Weldon Watsonsaid the switch to flat rates would be revenue neutral to thecompany.
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