Fifth Circuit Vacates Intrastate Pipeline Posting Requirements Under FERC Order Nos. 720 and 720-A


On October 24, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Texas Pipeline Association v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission held that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) exceeded its statutory authority in issuing Order Nos. 720 and 720-A, which required certain intrastate natural gas pipelines to post information on scheduled flow and design capacity. These posting requirements were established to (1) improve market participants' ability to assess supply and demand and to price physical natural gas transactions, (2) help market participants better understand the impact of disruptions to the natural gas delivery system on the industry and economy, and (3) allow market participants to identify potentially manipulative activity.

Under Order No. 720, major non-interstate natural gas pipelines were required to post the amount of volume scheduled to flow in and out of each receipt and delivery point that had a design capacity equal to or greater than 15,000 MMbtu per day. Affected pipelines were required to post the information daily on a website no later than 10:00 p.m. central time the day prior to gas flow and make it available in downloadable files. Order No. 720 also required interstate pipelines to post the volumes of no-notice service flows at each receipt and delivery point by 11:30 a.m. central time within three days after the day of gas flow.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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