FERC shot down one major Midwest-to-Northeast pipeline projectyesterday but gave another competing project a final green light.The $447 million Vector Pipeline emerged victorious, receivingFERC’s final approval and a presidential permit in a draft order,while the $400 million TriState Pipeline was sent back to thedrawing board to redesign the pipeline-lease portion of itsproposal.
Articles from Changes
In a major clarification of policy, the Federal EnergyRegulatory Commission last week decided it wasn’t necessary toaddress the merits of each objection before approving contestedpipeline rate settlements. Instead, it said settlements could becertified based on the reasonableness of the overall package.
In a major clarification of policy, FERC decided it wasn’tnecessary to address the merits of each objection before approvingcontested pipeline rate settlements. Instead, it said settlementscould be ratified based on the reasonableness of the overallpackage. The policy adjustment was reflected in a rehearing orderthat approved a rate settlement between Trailblazer Pipeline andits customers as being “reasonable as a package” for consentingparties, yet at the same time severed contesting parties, AmocoProduction and Amoco Energy. The action cleared the way forconsenting parties to maintain the benefits of their settlementbargain while giving the Amoco affiliates a chance to litigate the”complex factual issues” that they raised [RP97-408-006].
A break in the flat price pattern that has dominated the overallcash market during February came Tuesday, and appropriately it wasto the downside, where many sources had long expected prices to beheaded because of mild weather, a softening screen and a massivestorage surplus for this late in the winter season.
Deregulation and competition continue to spark changes inutility company boards, from increased use of stock to compensatedirectors to growing numbers of directors from the financial fieldto greater frequency of board meetings. These are key findings inthe just-released fourth annual Spencer Stuart Utility Board Index(UI) report, which analyzes the proxy statements of 50 leadingutility companies nationwide. The report focuses on membership andpractices of the nation’s utility boards, and this year highlightsthat many utility boards are becoming more like their counterpartsat Standard & Poor 500 companies.
Amid a sea of minor changes elsewhere, deliveries into theChicago and Northeast were conspicuous Wednesday with gains ofaround 15-20 cents or more. A market-area OFO issued by NGPL (seeTransportation Notes) seemed rather innocuous at first by beinglimited to 6 a.m to noon each day, but a marketer said that set offa scramble by traders to adjust their Chicago balancing situations.It also pushed up NGPL Iowa-Illinois Line quotes by more than 20cents. And quotes for Northern Natural-Ventura, where the pipelinehas had a System Overrun Limitation in effect for market zonessince before Christmas (see Daily GPI, Dec. 24), soared by asimilar amount.
Changes were in the air last Wednesday at the New YorkMercantile Exchange. Traders were greeted with a new promptmonth-January, a stronger December cash market, and even a freshrally-thanks to a short-covering Tuesday. Just about the only thingthat hadn’t changed were the bearish fundamental factors-storageand weather-prevalent in the market. But once again thosefundamentals were king Wednesday, and the selling pushed theJanuary contract down 7.9 cents to $2.196 at the closing bell.
The hypervolatility in swing deals done Friday for Nov. 1-2 madeit difficult to gauge where the cash market was moving Monday. Butthe overall mix of flat to about a dime or so up or down (includingjust about all points in between) amounted to a general wash thattilted a little bit to the negative side, sources said. Besides,they added, it was generally a quiet day for most traders as theytook stock of bidweek and prospects for the upcoming days.