FERC has granted Transcontinental Gas Pipeline a “temporary,limited term waiver” of its tariff to require advancecapacity-release offers and nominations for the first week of theYear 2000 by Dec. 27 and 28, respectively. The waiver would extendthrough Jan. 7, Transco said, and would only be used in the eventof an unanticipated systems failure or other Y2K-related problems.

Chairman James Hoecker called Transco’s requested waiver a”reasonable exercise of contingency planning” by the pipeline. TheCommission’s order said all pipeline customers “are encouraged tohave some estimates on file.”

In response to shippers’ concerns, the Commission said itagreed “imbalance penalties should not be imposed” on the standinggas nominations of shippers who make “good-faith efforts” to complywith the advance nominations outlined in Transco’s BusinessContinuity Plan (BCP). FERC advised Transco to file plans on how itintends to handle penalties if the advance nominations are used.

The Commission said the proposal would not hold Transco harmlessfor any liabilities that may arise from Y2K failures. The proposalonly addresses operational issues, it noted.

It also suggested that Transco share any “relevant portion” ofits BCP plan with its customers so they will “be made aware of anypotential problems and solutions. This will alert customers toforeseeable potential problems and permit the customers anopportunity to address the problems and possibly also developcontingency plans.”

On a related issue, Hoecker said he was “extremely pleased” withthe Y2K remediation and testing efforts of the oil and gasindustry. He noted the last survey results on the energy industry’sY2K compliance efforts will be announced at a press conference atthe National Press Building Oct. 20, and a FERC technicalconference on the issue will be held Oct. 21.

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