Capacity Release–PG&E and Coral Petitions

INGAA is preparing to respond to FERC’s request for comments on secondary market (capacity release) issues raised in two pending petitions filed by PG&E and Coral Energy.  PG&E is asking FERC to remove the existing cap (i.e., the pipeline’s maximum rate) on released capacity transactions.  Coral Energy, joined by nine other major gas marketers, is asking FERC to “clarify” various aspects of its capacity release regulations.  More specifically, Coral asks the Commission to clarify that capacity release transactions that involve packaging of capacity and gas supply, or aggregation of a releasing shipper’s capacity under multiple contracts on one or more pipelines, do not violate the “anti-tying” bar under FERC’s regulations.  They also ask the Commission to clarify that portfolio management fees will not cause a capacity release transaction to exceed the rate cap, and that a releasing shipper’s payment of reservation fees back to the replacement shipper/portfolio manager will not be considered a discount that would operate to make the transaction “biddable.”  (Under the rules, capacity release arrangements at the maximum rate must be noticed, but are not subject to the auction requirement.)  

INGAA’s position on the issues was the subject of discussion during the monthly Board conference call on February 27, and is under active discussion in the Legal Committee.  Comments are now due March 12.