APGA Weekly Update October 6, 2016

10-06-2016 12:44

APGA Weekly Update, October 6, 2016
2017 Gas Supply Conference Highlights
APGA’s 2017 Gas Supply Conference (GSC) will be held January 31 and February 1, 2017 at the Hyatt
Regency Clearwater Beach in Clearwater, Fla.
The Gas Supply Committee has finalized the following topics and speakers for the GSC:
 Gas Supply by David Tucker, Vice President of National Accounts for Atmos Energy
 Gas Demand by Dawn Constantin, Vice President Marketing & Fundamentals for BP Energy
 LNG Exports by Steve Harris, Director for Cheniere Energy LLC
 Market Forecasting by Donnie Sharp, Senior Natural Gas Supply Coordinator for Huntsville
 Natural Gas Rate Design
 Prepay Panel Discussion by Al Bean, CEO for Black Belt Energy
 Building Natural Gas Advocates by Randy Randolph, Vice President of Operations for Southern
Gas Association
 Stranded Gas Customers by Jim Schauer, CEO and Managing Director for Thigpen Energy
APGA will be adding additional speakers to the program throughout the fall and we look forward to
seeing everyone in Clearwater in 2017. For questions on this article, please contact Scott Morrison of
APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at smorrison@apga.org.
Federal Reserve Proposes Rules on Bank Trading of Physical Commodities
The Federal Reserve has proposed new regulations intended to strengthen existing requirements and
place limitations on the physical commodity activities of financial holding companies—large banks. As
communicated by the Federal Reserve, the intent of the proposal is to help reduce the catastrophic,
legal, reputational, and financial risks that physical commodity activities pose to financial holding
companies. The proposed rule would: require firms to hold additional capital in connection with
activities involving commodities for which existing laws would impose liability if the commodity were
released into the environment; tighten the quantitative limit on the amount of physical commodity
trading activity firms may conduct; rescind authorizations that allow firms to engage in physical
commodity activities involving power plants; remove copper from the list of precious metals that all
bank holding companies are permitted to own and store; and, establish new public reporting
requirements on the nature and extent of firms' physical commodity holdings and activities.
Given that many public natural gas systems utilize financial holding companies as counterparties for a
number of transactions, including prepays, APGA has communicated in a policy resolution—approved in
2014—that unduly limiting or preventing these entities from engaging in the physical natural gas
business would harm market liquidity for public natural gas systems, potentially increase physical
transaction costs, and threaten the viability of natural gas prepayment transactions.
APGA staff and members are reviewing this rule and are having discussions with their counterparties to
identify the potential impacts and determine next steps. The deadline for comments is December 22. A
copy of the APGA policy resolution addressing banks activities in physical commodities is available on
the APGA website at www.apga.org. For questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA
staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dschryver@apga.org.
Pat Riley Speaks about National CNG Rally
APGA Member Pat Riley, General Manager of Gibson County Utility District, spoke on September 27 to
the Southern States Energy Board about the 2017 National Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Rally.
The Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) is a non-profit interstate compact organization created in 1960
and established under Public Laws 87-563 and 92-440. The Board’s mission is to enhance economic
development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental
policies, programs and technologies. Sixteen southern states and two territories comprise the
membership of SSEB: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi,
Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands,
Virginia and West Virginia. Each jurisdiction is represented by the governor and a legislator from the
House and Senate.
As Chairman of APGA’s NGV Committee earlier this year, Pat conceived and executed APGA’s national
road rally, CNG from Sea to Shining Sea, which featured several vehicles driving across the country only
on CNG. The rally began in Long Beach, Calif., and ended in Washington, D.C., this past summer with 13
successful stops along the way.
As Pat outlined to the SSEB, for 2017, under the leadership of NGVAmerica, APGA and other
stakeholders will be executing a much larger CNG rally to raise awareness of the affordability and
viability of natural gas as a clean, domestic, and secure transportation fuel. APGA will provide further
details about the rally as they become available.
For questions on this article, please contact Scott Morrison of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or
by email at smorrison@apga.org.
Common Ground Alliance Seeks Candidates for President
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) has announced it is seeking candidates for CGA President. CGA is a
member-driven association of 1,700 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the
underground utility industry. CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to underground
infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. CGA has established itself as the
leading organization in an effort to reduce damages to underground facilities in North America through
shared responsibility among all stakeholders. Any best practice or program endorsed by CGA comes with
consensus support from experts representing these stakeholder groups: excavators, locators, road
builders, electric, telecommunications, oil, gas distribution, gas transmission, railroad, one call, public
works, equipment manufacturing, state regulators, insurance, emergency services, engineering/design.
The President will be responsible for the effective leadership of CGA and the execution of its mission and
goals. In collaboration with the Board of Directors, the President will lead development and execution of
CGA’s strategic plan, design innovative thought strategies, implement execution plans, influence
stakeholders, and continue to build strong relationships with existing and prospective members. Ideal
personal characteristics will include:
 Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with the Board, Committee
leadership and the general membership.
 A keen eye for detail and exemplary listening skills
 The ability to be persuasive, but supportive of the Board’s decision on critical matters.
 Strong people skills and a reputation for being a team player
 A sharp sense of protocol.
 The ability to be decisive in an action-oriented, decision-making environment.
 Reputation for being energetic, bright, hardworking, enthusiastic
 A willingness to offer opinions and judgments.
 Proven results-oriented self-starter with a reputation for ethical conduct.
A Bachelor’s degree is required. A technical degree or an advanced degree in engineering or business is
preferred. The full announcement including application instructions can be found at www.apga.org/cga.
For questions on this article, please contact John Erickson of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-0834 or by
email at jerickson@apga.org.
PHMSA Issues Interim Final Rule Providing Authority to Issue Emergency Orders
On October 4, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an Interim
Final Rule (IFR) to implement the agency’s expanded authority to address unsafe pipeline conditions or
practices that pose an imminent hazard to life, property, or the environment. This was authorized by
the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines Enhancing Safety Act of 2016, which allows the agency to
impose emergency restrictions, prohibitions, and safety measures on owners and operators of gas or
hazardous liquid pipeline facilities to address safety concerns affecting multiple owners or operators
without prior notice or an opportunity for a hearing.
Examples of when PHMSA may need to use this enhanced authority include instances where a serious
manufacturing flaw has been discovered in pipe, equipment or other materials, or when an accident
reveals a specific industry practice that is unsafe and needs immediate correction.
Before issuing an emergency order PHMSA must consider:
1. The impact of the emergency order on public health and safety;
2. The impact, if any, of the emergency order on the national or regional economy or national
3. The impact of the emergency order on the ability of owners and operators of pipeline facilities
to maintain reliability and continuity of service to customers; and,
4. The result of consultations with appropriate federal agencies, state agencies, and other entities
knowledgeable in pipeline safety or operations.
An entity that is subject to and aggrieved by an emergency order may petition the Administrator for
review to determine whether the order will remain in place, be modified, or terminated.
The IFR is effective once posted to the Federal Register, although comments will be accepted within 60
days of publication.
A copy of the full text of the IFR can be found at www.apga.org/issues/operationssafety. For questions
on this article, please contact John Erickson of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-0834 or by email at
Excavation Damages Dropped in 2015
The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) has released its Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report
for 2015. The report summarizes more than 363,000 instances of excavation damage voluntarily
reported by facility operators, utility locating companies, one call centers, contractors and regulators. It
shows that the total number of underground excavation damages in the U.S. last year dropped by nine
percent from 2014, to approximately 317,000 damages. Total U.S. damages and damages per one call
ticket are also down. At the same time, housing permits and construction activity are up. Taken
together, these are encouraging indicators that damage prevention efforts continue to trend in the right
direction, although opportunities for improvement remain.
For the first time, the 2015 report matched and weighted multiple data submissions pertaining to the
same event, which are often submitted by two or more stakeholders. This new methodology, along
with a record number of event submissions (more than 363,000), and a higher Data Quality Index score,
which is a measurement of the completeness of data submissions, than either 2014 or 2013, makes the
2015 DIRT Report the most comprehensive and accurate account of the state of damages to
underground infrastructure ever compiled.
In addition, the public will now be able to use an interactive dashboard that allows users to filter the
data more granularly by factors contributing to damages such as what types of excavators, doing what
types of work, with what equipment, what facilities are being damaged, and why. The dashboard can be
found at http://commongroundalliance.com/dirt-2015-interactive-report.
APGA strongly encourages all members to participate by submitting damage reports to DIRT. The
information provided by DIRT is invaluable in targeting damage prevention resources to where they will
do the most good.
The complete report can be found at http://commongroundalliance.com/media-reports/dirt-report-
2015. For questions on this article, please contact John Erickson of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-0834
or by email at jerickson@apga.org.
EIA Reports Storage Increase of 80 Bcf to Put Working Gas Storage at 3,680 Bcf
Here is the weekly EIA Summary Report issued on Thursday, October 6, 2016, which reports the week’s
storage report highlights for Friday, September 30, 2016. An 80 Bcf increase has been reported.
Working gas in storage was 3,680 Bcf as of Friday, September 30, 2016, according to EIA estimates. This
represents a net increase of 80 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 74 Bcf higher than last year at
this time and 205 Bcf above the five-year average of 3,475 Bcf. At 3,680 Bcf, total working gas is above
the five-year historical range.

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