Edition 37 – Thursday, February 7, 2019

Welcome back to GasNewsOnline.com! After a week of warmer weather across much of the US, temperatures are returning to normal across the West and Upper Midwest.  A number of natural gas pipeline companies have posted critical notices regarding colder weather conditions for their systems.

Before we cover those notices, let’s check out the latest energy news:

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The US Energy Information Administration released its weekly estimate of natural gas volumes in storage.  For the week ending February 1, working gas in storage decreased by 237 Bcf.   

Stocks were estimated to be 415 Bcf or 17.5% below the five-year average for the same week. 

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Yesterday, as part of its ongoing commitment to reducing wildfire risk, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) submitted its 2019 Wildfire Safety Plan to the California Public Utilities Commission. The safety plan marks an expansion of enhanced and additional safety precautions PG&E began implementing in 2017 and 2018 to address the growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires across its service area.

Given the continued and growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires, and as an additional precautionary measure, PG&E’s plan includes expanding and enhancing its Community Wildfire Safety Program to further reduce wildfire risks and help keep customers and the communities it serves safe. Ongoing and expanded efforts include further enhancing vegetation management around power lines, conducting enhanced safety inspections of electric infrastructure in high fire-threat areas, and a hardening of our electric system.

Also included in the 2019 plan, PG&E announced additional and enhanced safety precautions including the expansion of PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program to include all electric lines that pass through high fire-threat areas – both transmission and distribution. While customers in high fire-threat areas are more likely to be affected, any of PG&E’s more than 5 million electric customers could have their power shut off for safety only as a last resort when forecasted fire danger conditions warrant.

“We know how much our customers rely on electric service. Proactively turning off power is a highly complex issue with significant public safety risks on both sides – all of which need to be carefully considered and addressed,” said Michael Lewis, Electric Operations senior vice president. “We understand and appreciate that turning off the power affects first responders and the operation of critical facilities, communications systems and much more. We will only turn off power for public safety and only as a last resort to keep our customers and communities safe.”

To be clear, the decision to initiate a PSPS is informed by local forecasts, so PG&E is not indicating that it would ever turn off power to all customers at once. Instead, due to the complexity of the electric grid, and the web-like connection between transmission lines, distribution lines and substations, there is a possibility that some customers outside a high-risk fire threat area could have their power turned off based on the need to turn off a specific high-voltage circuit. The expanded program includes timely notification to customers of potential PSPS events.

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With another blast of winter affecting the northern half of the US for a few more days, let’s check out the latest critical postings from the interstate natural gas pipeline companies’ electronic bulletin boards:

Algonquin Gas Transmission:

In order to maintain the operational integrity of the system, Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (AGT) is issuing an Operational Flow Order (OFO) pursuant to Section 26 of the General Terms and Conditions of AGT’s FERC Gas Tariff effective 9:00 AM CCT, February 8, 2019, to all parties, with the exception of those Operational Balancing Agreements required by FERC regulations, on the AGT system.

This OFO does not affect the ability of AGT to receive or deliver quantities of gas for scheduled nominations to any customer or pipeline.

***During the effectiveness of this OFO, all parties must be balanced such that actual deliveries of gas out of the system must be equal to or less than scheduled deliveries. The penalty shall apply to each dekatherm of actual delivery quantities that exceeds the greater of 2,000 Dth or 102% of scheduled delivery quantities. The penalty will be equal to three times the daily Platts Gas Daily “Daily Price Survey” posting for the High Common price for “Algonquin, city-gates” for the day on which such violation occurred as indicated in AGT’s General Terms and Conditions Section 26.8. In addition, AGT will not permit retroactive nominations to avoid an OFO penalty.

AGT may be required to issue an hourly OFO pursuant to General Terms and Conditions Section 26.7(d) to impose further restrictions in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system.

As previously posted AGT, requests that customers/point operators on AGT be aware of the impact non-ratable hourly takes from the system may have in causing delivery pressures reaching lower than desired levels. As a reminder, AGT’s system is not designed to sustain delivery pressures above contract levels while making non-ratable/accelerated deliveries above scheduled quantities for more than 6 consecutive hours, to be followed by flows below scheduled quantity for the balance of any 24 hour period.

Furthermore, if customers/point operators don’t manage hourly takes from the system, 1) delivery pressures will be impacted and /or 2) AGT may be required to impose further restrictions or courses of action in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system.

Correspondingly, the OFO issued on February 6, 2019 will continue to be in effect until 9:00 AM CCT, February 8, 2019.

This OFO will remain in effect until further notice.

ANR Pipeline:

Attn: All ANR Shippers

Due to projected cold weather forecasts, current operational conditions, and nomination levels, it is increasingly important that ANRPL shippers maintain sufficient receipt and delivery volumes to minimize imbalances and ensure system integrity.

As of February 7, ANR is not taking further action at this time other than to notify our customers of the projected weather forecast. However, ANR Pipeline will continue to monitor pipeline operations and the weather forecasts, and may take further action if necessary. Please continue to monitor our EBB for updates.

Columbia Gas Transmission:

Shippers are advised that due to forecasted colder temperatures, storage levels, and increased market demands beginning Saturday, February 9, 2019, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC (TCO) may issue Transport Critical Days for deliveries to all Operating Areas and Storage Critical Days for withdrawals (MDWQ overruns) for all Operating Areas.  TCO will post the Critical Day notices, if warranted, on Friday, February 8, 2019.   

Also, TCO may have limited ability to handle non-ratable takes in the impacted Market Areas during this period.  Please monitor the Daily Capacity Posting for details. 

TRANSPORT CRITICAL DAY:  If a Transport Critical Day is called for Saturday, February 9, 2019 until further notice, the following daily Transport Critical Day penalty will apply:

Applicable Penalty:  TFE – If Shipper’s takes on any Day exceed the greater of 103 percent or 1,000 Dths more than its Total Firm Entitlement (TFE), Shipper shall be assessed and pay a penalty based on the higher of: (i) a price per Dth equal to three times the midpoint of the range of prices reported for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia” as published in Platts Gas Daily price survey for all such quantities in excess of its TFE, or (ii) a price per Dth equal to 150 percent of the highest midpoint posting for either: Mich Con City-gate, Transco, Zone 6 Non-N.Y., or Texas Eastern, M-2 Receipts as published in Platts Gas Daily price survey for all such quantities in excess of its TFE.  Section 19.1(ii) penalties will only be assessed on days in which the daily spot price of gas exceeds three times the midpoint of the range of prices reported for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia. 

NOTE:  Takes in excess of Total Firm Entitlements (“TFE”) are penalized on Critical Days based on takes exceeding the aggregate daily amount of gas that TCO is obligated to deliver to a shipper under the shipper’s applicable rate schedule.  Each applicable rate schedule outlines this delivery obligation and, consequently, a shipper’s TFE. 

STORAGE CRITICAL DAY:  If a Storage Critical day is called for Saturday, February 9, 2019 until further notice, all firm storage services will be fully available.  Interruptible storage withdrawals (SIT and ISS), excess FSS withdrawals, and PAL loans and unparks will not be available if delivered in the impacted operating areas.  

Applicable Penalties: 

– FSS MDWQ- Withdrawn quantities in excess of 103% of the applicable contract MDWQ will be assessed a penalty based on a price per Dth equal to three times the midpoint rate for “Columbia Gas, Appalachia,” posted in Gas Daily.  

– FSS MMWQ – Monthly Withdrawal Quantities that exceed 30% (February Limit) of SCQ will be assessed a penalty of $5.00 per Dth.  

– FSS SCQ – If withdrawals from storage result in the FSS contract having a negative SCQ balance, a penalty of $5 per Dth will be assessed.

Colorado Interstate Gas (CIG):

With significantly colder temperatures being forecast beginning Wednesday, February 6, 2019 through Friday, February 8, 2019, CIG is anticipating an increase in demand on its system which will limit its ability to manage imbalances associated with supply shortfalls. Therefore, when necessary to minimize imbalances and protect system integrity, underperformance caps may be placed on nonperforming receipt points effective until further notice.

Dominion Energy Transmission:

Effective start of gas day Friday, February 8, 2019, and continuing until further notice, DETI will not schedule any IT or Non PL-1 firm transportation on its PL-1 system. This includes deliveries at the following locations:

40209 Columbia of Pennsylvania (Pleasant Gap)

21305 Texas Eastern Chambersburg (East Coast)

40201 Texas Eastern Chambersburg (PL-1)

40202 Texas Eastern Steckman Ridge

40224 Baltimore Gas and Electric

22000 Washington Gas and Electric

23500 Dominion Cove Point Loudoun

40704 Transco Nokesville

40303 Virginia Natural Gas

22400 Doswell

22500 City of Richmond

22600 VA Electric & Power

22700 Columbia of Virginia

22800 VEPCO (Lady Smith)

22900 Genon Mid-Atlantic (Dickerson)

30016 Panda Stonewall

30230 PL-1 customers with delivery points north of Leesburg compressor station may not effectuate deliveries  to any PL-1 point south of Leesburg. PL-1 customers with delivery points south of Leesburg compressor station may effectuate deliveries to PL-1 points both north and south of Leesburg. DETI can effectuate secondary and IT deliveries to points north of Leesburg compressor station if sourced from the receipt of DETI-Loudoun (40704) or Transco-Nokesville (40303) via displacement. DETI can effectuate secondary and IT deliveries to points south of Leesburg compressor station if sourced from the receipt of Transco-Nokesville (40303) via displacement.

Please note that “Unauthorized Overrun Charges – Daily” rate of $10.00/dth will apply.

East Tennessee Natural Gas:

Due to impending colder weather, in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system, ETNG is issuing a Balancing Alert Operational Flow Order (OFO) pursuant to Section 14.7 of the General Terms and Conditions of ETNG’s FERC Gas Tariff effective 9:00 AM CCT, February 8, 2019 for all meters east of the Boyds Creek Compressor Station.

This OFO does not affect the ability of ETNG to receive or deliver quantities of gas for scheduled nominations to any customer, storage field, or pipeline.

During the effectiveness of this OFO, balancing parties under Rate Schedules LMSMA and LMSPA must be balanced such that actual deliveries of gas out of the system must be equal to or less than scheduled deliveries out of the system and actual receipts of gas into the system must be equal to or greater than scheduled receipts into the system. Additionally, balancing parties with meters west of Boyds Creek will not be allowed to utilize undertakes at meters located west of Boyds Creek to offset overtakes at meters located east of Boyds Creek.

The penalty provisions under Section 47.5(b) of the General Terms and Conditions of ETNG’s FERC Gas Tariff shall apply for failure to conform for each dekatherm of actual receipt quantities that are less than scheduled receipt quantities and for each dekatherm of actual delivery quantities that are greater than scheduled delivery quantities, in each case with a tolerance of 2% of scheduled quantities or 500 dekatherms (whichever is greater).

In addition, ETNG will not permit retroactive nominations to avoid an OFO penalty.

Gas Transmission Northwest:

GTN OFO Watch (Posted 2/6/19)

Effective immediately, GTN Pipeline is issuing an OFO watch.  GTN Pipeline is concerned about the operational integrity of its system as a result of low line pressures.

The OFO watch is in effect through gas day February 15th, in order to allow for GTN pipeline system to regain its operational integrity. GTN has limited flexibility to manage imbalances and strongly encourages all shippers manage their system requirements to ensure the matching of receipts and deliveries daily.

Absent voluntary imbalance management by shippers to ensure daily balancing, GTN may be required to take further action, including the immediate issuance of an imbalance Operational Flow Order. If further action is required, it may be necessary for that action to become effective immediately, with no additional prior notice available.

This posting will be updated as more information becomes available.  Please contact your GTN Nominations Representative with any questions regarding nominations or scheduling at (888) 750-6275.

Kern River Transmission:

Line pack continues to decrease (approximately 75,000 Dth over the past 24 hours) despite Kern River’s warning of colder than normal weather and expected high demand in Kern River’s market areas. Additionally, several upstream and downstream operators have declared some form of strained operating condition.

Therefore, all Kern River shippers and delivery point operators are required to align daily scheduled nominations and physical receipts and deliveries. If line pack continues to decrease, Kern River may take corrective action to increase line pack by limiting physical flow at delivery points where a negative imbalance was created during prior gas days to ensure line pack and the integrity of the system is maintained.

Mississippi River Transmission (MRT):

Due to the potential for maximum utilization of northbound firm Main Line capacity causing a potential supply deficiency in the Market Zone, MRT is issuing a System Protection Warning (SPW) effective 9:00 a.m. Thursday, February 7, 2019 and continuing until further notice.

 During this time:

 1)           MRT may not schedule any IT or AOR volumes for delivery north of Glendale.

 2)           Firm volumes may be limited to their primary direction of flow on the system north of Glendale.

 3)           MRT may not schedule volumes that result in a daily short position in either the Market or Field Zones.

 4)           The use of imbalance positions may not be scheduled.

 5)           Pool transfers will not be permitted from MRT s Field Zone to its Market Zone.

 6)           Customers with primary delivery points north of the Glendale Compressor station and a receipt point that utilizes South to North transportation, will be required to nominate and source all, or a portion of, their  total nomination at primary receipt points and/or at available Market Zone supply locations, not to exceed applicable maximum receipt point quantities in order to support their primary deliveries.

 7)           Shippers whose firm transportation contracts have Texas Gas Boardwalk (Boardwalk) and/or EGT Olyphant (Olyphant) and/or Noark listed as primary receipt points, must schedule the full amount of their primary receipt point quantity each of those points or, if the primary receipt point is Boardwalk and/or Olyphant, at an alternative Main Line receipt point that is north of their primary receipt point (Olyphant and/or Noark) if they desire to fully utilize their contract MDQ. Shippers may elect to forego nominating their full primary receipt point quantity at any/all of these points, however, such shipper’s maximum scheduled and confirmed contract quantity shall be limited to their contract MDQ less any primary receipt point quantity at Boardwalk and/or Olyphant and/or Noark that is not scheduled and confirmed.

 8)           Instantaneous flow rates for shippers delivering to meters located in MRT s Market Zone cannot exceed 110% of their daily entitlements.

Shippers whose deliveries are affected by any of the Seven (8) conditions above are encouraged to source supply at their primary receipt points, MRT’s East Line, MoGas, or reduce applicable delivery volumes.

Failure to comply with this SPW may result in Customers being issued an individual OFO.  Nominations will be confirmed and scheduled in accordance with MRT s Tariff.

Northern Border Pipeline:

Northern Border OFO Watch (Posted 2/6/19)

Effective immediately, Northern Border Pipeline is issuing an OFO watch. Northern Border is concerned about the operational integrity of its system as a result of extremely cold weather.

The OFO watch is in effect through gas day February 16th, in order to allow for the Northern Border pipeline system to regain its operational integrity. Northern Border has limited flexibility to manage imbalances and strongly encourages all shippers manage their system requirements to ensure the matching of receipts and deliveries daily.

Absent voluntary imbalance management by shippers to ensure daily balancing, Northern Border may be required to take further action, including the immediate issuance of an imbalance Operational Flow Order. If further action is required, it may be necessary for that action to become effective immediately, with no additional prior notice available. This posting will be updated as more information becomes available

Northern Natural Gas:

Operational Alert – A System Overrun Limitation (SOL) has been called for all Market Area zones (ABC, D and EF) with 0% System Management Service (SMS) available for Gas Day Friday February 8, 2019 due to lower than normal system weighted temperatures.

Northern is expecting record cold temperatures and record market deliveries this week. At this time, Northern does not anticipate the need to call a Critical Day. Northern will continually evaluate the condition of the system, and will make all efforts to call a Critical Day in advance of the gas day if the pipeline system experiences low line pack or other conditions, including significant natural gas price volatility, that threaten the integrity of Northern’s pipeline system. Customers are encouraged to nominate supply volumes sufficient to cover anticipated loads to prevent the need for Northern to call a Critical Day.

Northwest Pipeline:

Please keep in mind that pursuant to All-shipper Notice No. 19-016, Northwest is currently under a Stage II (8%) Overrun Entitlement for all Receiving Parties north of the Kemmerer compressor station which began on gas day February 06, 2019.

Effective gas day Saturday, February 9, pursuant to All-shipper Notice No. 19-017, Northwest will be under a Stage I (3%) overrun Entitlement north of the Plymouth compressor and a Stage II (8%) overrun Entitlement in the Kemmerer to Plymouth corridor.

Northwest would like to clarify that the Stage I (3%) overrun Entitlement north of the Plymouth compressor includes the Spokane and Wenatchee laterals.

PG&E – California Gas Transmission:

PG&E’s California Gas Transmission has revised the Low Inventory System-Wide OFO for gas day 02/08/2019 to a Stage 4 at $25.00/Dth, 5% tolerance.

Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline:

With a colder weather forecast across the Southern Star system, Southern Star is issuing a winter weather watch beginning Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 9:00 AM CST. Southern Star requests that shippers adhere to the following criteria:

Customers with TSS and STS contracts should ensure that their flowing gas to storage gas withdrawal relationship is per their contractual agreements

ISS withdrawals and PLS withdrawals will be available on a limited basis

Incremental Loans will be available on a limited basis

Imbalance makeup for gas due others (Southern Star off-system) will be available on a limited basis

Receipt and delivery point operators should ensure that flowing volumes match confirmed scheduled quantities

Southern Star will issue underperformance notices to each point operator not delivering the scheduled quantities they had confirmed. Southern Star will unilaterally reduce scheduled quantities per the tariff to match actual flow if the delivering operator does not remedy the underperformance in accordance with the notice.

If customers do not adhere to these requests, or if actual weather or operating conditions require it, Southern Star could issue a system wide, point or shipper specific OFO on short notice.

These conditions are expected to remain in effect through Saturday, February 9, 2018.

Texas Eastern Transmission:

Due to impending colder weather, in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system, TE is issuing an Operational Flow Order (OFO) pursuant to Section 4.3 of the General Terms and Conditions of TE’s FERC Gas Tariff effective 9:00AM CCT February 8, 2019 to all delivery parties, with the exception of those governed by a FERC gas tariff, in Texas Eastern’s Market Area Zones M1-24, M2-24 and M3.

This OFO does not affect the ability of TE to receive or deliver quantities of gas for scheduled nominations to any customer or pipeline.

During the effectiveness of this OFO, all parties must be balanced such that actual deliveries of gas out of the system must be equal to or less than scheduled deliveries out of the system. The penalty shall apply to each dekatherm of actual delivery quantities that exceeds the greater of 2,000 Dth or 102% of scheduled delivery quantities. The penalty will be equal to three times the daily Platts Gas Daily “Daily Price Survey” posting for the High Common price for the geographical region, as defined in Section 8.5(a) of the General Terms and Conditions of TE’s FERC Gas Tariff for the day on which such violation occurred. In addition, TE will not permit retroactive nominations to avoid an OFO penalty.

TE may be required to issue an hourly OFO pursuant to General Terms and Conditions Section 4.3(H) to impose further restrictions in order to maintain the operational integrity of the system. TE will inform customers via EBB when this OFO will be lifted.

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The National Weather Service temperature forecast for the next six-to-ten days shows that the Northwest, Rockies, Midwest and Great Lakes areas will to see below average temperatures while the above-normal temperatures remaining across the South, Mid-Atlantic, and New England.

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