TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., subsidiary Nova Gas Transmission andtwo groups of Canadian producers yesterday announced a “watershed”proposed agreement for a new pricing structure aimed at increasingthe competitiveness of the Nova system while at the same timeensuring greater rate fairness for producer-customers on thepipeline.
Articles from Pipelines
In another case the FERC is going to have to defend its policyof not requiring pipelines to flow through penalty revenues, theU.S. Court of Appeals ruled Friday in remanding a case involvingNorAm Gas Transmission (No. 97-1607). The 2-1 decision in Amoco v.FERC, with Judge Randolph concurring in part and dissenting inpart, did not object to NorAm’s raising penalty rates, but it doesask for an explanation of why the Commission believes penaltyrevenues will be so insignificant as to warrant no consideration.In the year prior to NorAm’s rate filing the pipeline had collected$1.8 million in penalty revenue. The court noted FERC appeared tobelieve that because penalty rates were raised, the incidence ofpenalties would decrease. But “even if a lesser number of penaltiesare imposed, the increased penalty rate might result in a grossincrease in penalty revenue. Moreover – and this is the keyimponderable – whether a shipper will be willing to incur thepenalty depends on his cost in securing alternative supplies in atight market.”
Three weeks of severe weather in the Gulf of Mexico have leftproducers with their heads spinning and have sent Gulf productionon a roller coaster ride, but producers should find some solace inthe large number of pipeline companies scrambling to serve theirgrowing transportation needs with new projects. In total, the newpipeline expansions announced last week could add more than 1 Bcf/dof additional pipeline access to markets for deep-water supplies.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has conditionallyapproved a new interruptible park and loan service (PLS) to starttoday on Williams Gas Pipelines Central. The service – allowingcustomers to park or request a loan of gas at each of Williams’pools – was designed to give those customers greater flexibility ina market that has evolved from a monthly to a daily business. FERCapproved the service subject to refund and certain conditions.
In a change of strategy earlier this week, TransCanada PipeLinesLtd. and Nicor Inc. notified FERC that they were withdrawing theirapplication for their original Viking Voyageur pipeline project toclear the path for a new application on a scaled-down version ofthe project that they intend to file early this fall.
ANR Pipeline has called on FERC to dismiss TransCanadaPipeLines’s and Nicor’s Viking Voyageur Project application on fileat the Commission, a move that could prevent the two sponsors fromusing it as the basis for a proposal to build a radically alteredproject.
“Earnings from market-based businesses are less predictable thanregulated earnings,” TransCanada PipeLines President George Watsonreminded stockholders Thursday in explaining how lowersecond-quarter earnings in marketing, gathering and processing haderased some pipeline gains.
TransCanada PipeLines said yesterday the loss of two shipperagreements enabled it to slash the price of its 1999 expansionproject by C$575.9 million, but it still anticipates being able toprovide 76% of the capacity (208 MMcf/d) of the original project byNovember 1999. The Canadian pipeline monopoly filed its originalproject application with the National Energy Board in April, butmodified its plans this week.