Natural Gas

Hallmarks of our FERC natural gas practice are the diversity of our client base and the breadth of our experience in the gas industry. We have participated in the development and implementation of all aspects of federal natural gas regulatory policy over the last quarter century, including FERC Order Nos. 436, 636, 637 and 712. We have also worked on FERC’s policy statements pertaining to pipeline certificates, negotiated rates, and its substantially broadened enforcement arena, as well as various infrastructure-development initiatives and many precedent-setting individual cases.

Our natural-gas industry clients include the following:

  • Interstate and intrastate pipelines
  • Underground storage and LNG companies
  • Local distribution companies (LDCs)
  • Large end-users (such as gas-fired electric generators)
  • Marketing, trading and asset management companies

Project Development and Permitting

  • Served as FERC regulatory counsel for an interstate gas pipeline in the northeastern United States in its prosecution, construction and operation of various system expansion projects. Our work included the prosecution of certificates of public convenience and necessity, development of new service offerings, and structuring of innovative rate and service arrangements to meet the client’s and its customers’ needs.
  • Advised LDC and project-developer clients on the federal regulatory implications of various renewable and other nontraditional natural-gas resource development and commercial-business undertakings, including development of a domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel business.
  • Served as FERC regulatory counsel for a major midstream services company in permitting matters related to jurisdictional aspects of natural gas processing operations.
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  • Participated in natural-gas interstate pipeline rate and tariff litigation on behalf of a wide variety of shippers on the following pipeline systems: Algonquin, Columbia Gulf, Dominion Cove Point, Dominion Transmission, El Paso, Equitrans, Florida Gas, Kern River, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, Southern Natural Gas, Texas Eastern, Tennessee, Transco and Transwestern.
  • Represented an interstate pipeline company in the successful prosecution and resolution by settlement of contested changes to its gas-quality and interchangeability tariff provisions occasioned by the introduction of nontraditional gas supply resources.
  • Represented pipelines and shippers in disputes pertaining to billing and payment, penalty imposition, credit support, new services, insolvency/bankruptcy and a wide range of other matters. Such activities have included informal negotiations, communications with FERC enforcement staff, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, the filing of formal complaints at FERC and civil litigation.

Corporate Accountability, Compliance and Enforcement

  • Represented clients in FERC Office of Enforcement proceedings, including audits, self-reports and investigations. Performed legal and regulatory compliance audits for various energy clients.
  • Developed compliance programs for affiliate standards of conduct and market behavior rules (including price reporting protocols). Developed and implemented various FERC compliance training programs.
  • Counseled clients with respect to compliance responsibilities, including FERC’s wholesale trading code of conduct, requirements for reporting of pricing information to index developers, and other regulatory requirements affecting interstate gas pipelines, storage companies, NGPA Section 311 and Hinshaw certificate holders, and wholesale gas commodity traders.

Regulatory Issues Associated with Natural Gas Commercial Transactions

  • Represented a large utility in the southwestern United States in the FERC gas proceedings related to the sale of its gas utility division to a third party, including transfer of various limited-jurisdiction certificates and an NGA Section 3/presidential permit.
  • Represented a large LDC holding company in its negotiation of (a) an ownership position and capacity lease arrangement in a major interstate pipeline lateral expansion project and (b) joint ownership interests in significant greenfield interstate gas pipeline projects.
  • Assisted an energy holding company with corporate and regulatory matters and issues related to its exit from the commercial gas trading and marketing business through various asset transfer arrangements, including FERC-jurisdictional asset transfers.
  • Assisted clients with the negotiation and drafting of precedent agreements for new firm services and related documentation, including confidentiality and reimbursement arrangements, interconnection agreements, operational balancing agreements, firm transportation, storage, park and loan, and discount and negotiated rate agreements.
  • Counseled clients with respect to regulated transfers of FERC-jurisdictional capacity through the capacity-release program and other commercial transactions raising regulatory issues, including Order No. 712 asset management/optimization arrangements and complex transactions requiring FERC waivers.