A discussion on incidental gathering

Regulated gas gathering lines are defined in the gas regulations at 49 CFR 192.8.  Determining start and end points of gathering lines is done by using API Recommended Practice 80, ‘‘Guidelines for the Definition of Onshore Gas Gathering Lines” as incorporated by reference into the regulation.

One area of continuing discussion is incidental gathering, pipelines that run from a processing plant, compressor to a transmission line or other pipeline.  Generally they are short in length.  API RP 80 has the full definition and description of incidental gathering.

The following is a discussion between an operator and regulators to determine if a particular segment of pipeline is incidental gathering or a transmission line.

Interpretation 192.3 (Transmission Line ) 34
July 14, 2009

Mr. Greg Schrab
HSE Coordinator
CDX Gas
14800 Landmark Blvd, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75254

Dear Mr. Schrab:

In a letter to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) dated September 19, 2008, you requested an interpretation of the applicability of the Federal pipeline safety regulations in 49 CFR Part 192 to your Slaytonville natural gas pipeline.  You stated that the Slaytonville line is an eight-mile line connecting Central Station, a gas processing and compression facility, to the CenterPoint gas transmission pipeline.  You explained that, contrary to a recent determination by the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission that the Slaytonville line is a transmission line, you believe that the Slaytonville line is an “incidental gathering” line under section 2.2(a)(1)(E) of API RP 80 as incorporated in Part 192 and, therefore, unregulated since it is located entirely within a Class 1 area.  You requested a final determination from PHMSA as to whether the Slaytonville line is a regulated gas transmission line or a non-regulated incidental gathering line.

Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq., PHMSA prescribes and enforces standards and regulations that apply to the gathering, transmission, and distribution of gas by pipeline.  A gathering line is defined in 49 CFR § 192.3 as “a pipeline that transports gas from a current production facility to a transmission line or main.”  That same section defines a transmission line as “a pipeline, other than a gathering line, that: (1) Transports gas from a gathering line or storage facility to a distribution center, storage facility, or large volume customer that is not downstream from a distribution center; (2) operates at a hoop stress of 20 percent or more of SMYS; or (3) transports gas within a storage field.”

On March 15, 2006, PHMSA issued a Final Rule that defined a “regulated gathering line” and set forth the requirements that apply to regulated gathering lines (71 FR 13289).  The rule adopted API RP 80 with certain limitations.  Section 192.8 now provides as follows:

§192.8   How are onshore gathering lines and regulated onshore gathering lines determined?
(a) An operator must use API RP 80 (incorporated by reference, see §192.7), to determine if an onshore pipeline (or part of a connected series of pipelines) is an onshore gathering line.  The determination is subject to the limitations listed below.  After making this determination, an operator must determine if the onshore gathering line is a regulated onshore gathering line under paragraph (b) of this section.

(1) The beginning of gathering, under section 2.2(a)(1) of API RP 80, may not extend beyond the furthermost downstream point in a production operation as defined in section 2.3 of API RP 80.  This furthermost downstream point does not include equipment that can be used in either production or transportation, such as separators or dehydrators, unless that equipment is involved in the processes of “production and preparation for transportation or delivery of hydrocarbon gas” within the meaning of “production operation.”

(2) The endpoint of gathering, under section 2.2(a)(1)(A) of API RP 80, may not extend beyond the first downstream natural gas processing plant, unless the operator can demonstrate, using sound engineering principles, that gathering extends to a further downstream plant.
(3) If the endpoint of gathering, under section 2.2(a)(1)(C) of API RP 80, is determined by the commingling of gas from separate production fields, the fields may not be more than 50 miles from each other, unless the Administrator finds a longer separation distance is justified in a particular case (see 49 CFR §190.9).

(4) The endpoint of gathering, under section 2.2(a)(1)(D) of API RP 80, may not extend beyond the furthermost downstream compressor used to increase gathering line pressure for delivery to another pipeline.

While you correctly point out that the rule did not expressly adopt a limitation on the fifth possible endpoint of gathering in section 2.2(a)(1)(E) of API RP 80, PHMSA considers this to be a drafting error that does not reflect PHMSA’s intent.  In the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued on October 3, 2005, PHMSA expressed its intent to “assure gathering line determinations do not stray significantly from PHMSA’s historic interpretations of gathering or do not abuse the “furthermost downstream” concept.” (70 FR 57540)

Historically PHMSA has not accepted the incidental gathering designation.  Based on the pressures at which these lines typically operate and the fact that they share maintenance and inspection needs with high pressure transmission lines, PHMSA has historically treated these lines as regulated transmission lines and did not intend to make any change in the rule.  Indeed, the intent of Congress in mandating the rulemaking was to bring additional pipeline mileage into the regulations, not to deregulate lines.

In our experience, the majority of operators treat these lines as regulated transmission lines and PHMSA believes they will continue to do so.  Although incidental gathering designations are currently permissible due to the drafting error and would apply to the Slaytonville line based on the description you provided, PHMSA is currently considering whether a rule amendment should be undertaken to correct the rule and propose adding a fifth limitation on API RP 80 which would mean incidental gathering determinations are no longer permissible.  Because PHMSA may undertake such a rule amendment in the near future, operators should strongly consider keeping incidental gathering designations to an absolute minimum and treating these lines as regulated transmission lines.

In addition, be advised that because an incidental gathering line is a single connecting line and not a system of lines, by definition it is limited to the first tie-in downstream of the processing or compression facility even if that connection does not extend all the way to the large diameter interstate line.

Finally, with respect to the beginning of gathering, the system maps you submitted as supporting documentation incorrectly depict CDX’s production operations as extending to the Central Station.  The relevant API RP 80 diagram (Fig. 2-6) clearly shows that gathering begins at the terminus of production and transports gas to the processing, compression location depicted by the schematic.  Proper application of the definition for production in API RP 80, section 2.3 and the supplemental definitions in section 2.4 indicate that the production operations in the CDX system cease much further upstream, at least as far upstream as the facilities identified on the map as “PODS”.  Further review of the equipment and processes would be necessary to make a determination of the exact endpoint of production and beginning of gathering.

I hope that this information is helpful to you.  If I can further assist you with this or any other pipeline safety regulatory matter, please contact me at (202) 366-4046.

Sincerely,

John A. Gale
Director, Office of Regulations

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CDX GAS
14800 Landmark Blvd, Suite 400
Dallas, TX 75254

September 19, 2008

Office of Pipeline Safety (PHP-30)
PHMSA
U.S Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, D.C. 20590-0001

RE:  CDX Gas, LLC Request for Written Regulatory Interpretation

CDX Gas, LLC is requesting a written regulatory interpretation on one of its pipelines (the -Slaytonville line”) relative to 49 CFR Part 192 Gas Gathering Line Definition; Alternative Definition for Onshore Lines and New Safety Standards, Final Rule, Federal Register, Vol. 71, No. 50, March 15, 2006. CDX Gas’ determination, in accordance with the above-referenced regulation, is that the Slaytonville line is a non-regulated Type A gathering line (see attached CDX Gas Arkoma Project determination document, submitted to the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission [AOGC] and PHMSA Southwest Region during a meeting on August 7, 2008). CDX is making this request as a result of the determination made by the AOGC that the Slaytonville line is a transmission line (see attached September 4, 2008 letter).

Before summarizing CDX Gas’ determination as a basis for requesting PHMSA’s written regulatory
interpretation, CDX Gas would like to call out several points in the September 4, 2008 AOGC letter:

·    AOGC General Rule D-17 and 49 CFR Part 192 regulations (paragraph #1): the AOGC State regulation D-17 has no bearing on the determination (it simply references 49 CFR 192), other than D-17 does give AOGC jurisdiction over all “pipeline operator” lines from the wellhead to the custody transfer meter (which effectively focuses on exploration and production company production and gathering lines), previously, the Arkansas Public Service Commission was the only Arkansas State agency enforcing PHMSA regulations; the complete 3/15/06 Federal Register Final Rule, 49 CFR 192, and API RP-80 incorporated by reference are codified and do have a bearing on the actual determination

·    Onshore Gas Gathering FAQs (paragraph #2): FAQs, referenced by AOGC, are examples to be used as guidance in interpreting an actual rule or regulation–they are not part of or referenced in the Federal Register Final Rule, 49 CFR 192, or API RP-80 as incorporated by reference, therefore these FAQs are not codified and do not have the force of regulations; specifically, FAQ no. 5 referenced by the AOGC, was written and is apparently being interpreted in a way that contradicts the Federal Register Final Rule (specifically, definition of the fifth possible endpoint of gathering and “incidental gathering”)

·    Incidental Gathering (paragraph #5): it has not “been determined that while incidental gathering MAY NOT be limited”; PHMSA DID NOT propose a limitation on the fifth possible endpoint of gathering in 49 CFR 192, therefore incidental gathering under section 2.2(a)(1)(E) of API RP-80 IS NOT limited by PHMSA as discussed in the 3/15/06 Federal Register Final Rule (p. 13292, #5) and incidental gathering IS NOT being used to “circumvent a stated limitation”

Please refer to the attached determination document for the detailed basis for CDX Gas’ determination that the Slaytonville line is a non-regulated Type A gathering line, not a transmission line. CDX Gas’ determination, and this request for a written interpretation, is based primarily on p. 13292, #5 of the 3/15/06 Federal Register Final Rule (p. 7 of the attached determination document) and the referenced section 2.2.1.2.6 in API RP-80 (p. 5 of the attached determination document):

·    p. 13292, #5, Federal Register Final Rule: “We did not propose a limitation on the fifth possible endpoint under section 2.2(a)(1)(E). This endpoint is the connection to another pipeline downstream of the furthermost downstream endpoint under sections 2.2(a)(1)(A) through (D), or in the absence of such an endpoint, the furthermost downstream production operation.” “The endpoint applies to connecting lines described as ‘incidental gathering’ under section 2.2.1.2.6 of API RP-80. An example of a connecting line is a pipeline that runs from the outlet of a natural gas processing plant to a transmission line. PHMSA considers ‘incidental gathering’ to include only lines that directly connect a transmission line to one of the endpoints (A) through (D), as limited by this final rule. Lines that connect a transmission line to one of these endpoints by way of another facility are not considered ‘incidental’ gathering.” (emphasis added)

·    Section 2.2.1.2.6, API RP-80: “The pipeline moving the gas from the plant to another pipeline is termed ‘incidental gathering’. The ‘incidental gathering’ resumes at the plant outlet and continues to the other pipeline connection. Incidental gathering may also occur when a  compressor is a potential endpoint”. From a functional standpoint, this section of incidental gathering line is no different from the rest of the gathering system. The definition, therefore, includes recognition that gathering may continue downstream of the last endpoint identified by processing, treatment, commingling, or compression activities to the connection with another pipeline. (emphasis added)

As illustrated in Figure 2-6 of section 2.2.1.2.6 of API RP-80, as referenced in the 3/15/06 Federal Register Final Rule, CDX Gas’ production operation ends at the outlet of the Central Station. The Slaytonville line then directly connects the Centerpoint transmission line to the Central Station, which contains two possible endpoints of gathering (gas treatment and compression). Therefore, the Slaytonville line is a “connecting” “incidental gathering” line, with the endpoint of gathering being its connection with the downstream Centerpoint transmission line.

CDX Gas respectfully requests a written regulatory interpretation of its determination that the Slaytonville line is a non-regulated, Type A gathering line, in response to the AOGC determination that it is a transmission line. Please call me at (214) 242-1147 with any questions regarding this request.

Sincerely,
Greg Schrab
HSE Coordinator

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ARKANSAS OIL AND GAS COMMISSION
Director’s Office:

301 Natural Resources Drive Suite 102
Little Rock, AR 72205

September 4, 2008

Mr. Greg Schrab
CDX Gas, LLC
5485 Beltline Road, Ste 190
Dallas, TX 75254-7672

Re:     Determination of Pipeline Status
Slaytonville Pipeline
Sebastian County, AR

Dear Mr. Schrab,

Commission staff conducted a review of the Hartford Pipeline System operated by CDX GAS, LLC on May 12, 2008 in an effort to affirm regulatory compliance with AOGC General Rule D-17 and the applicable regulations contained within 49CFR Part 192. During that review, I concluded that a portion of the pipeline system named as the Slaytonville pipeline may be a transmission line and verbally communicated same to you. My conclusion was based upon the limitations set forth under Part 192.8 (a) (4).

The Slaytonville pipeline is identified as the portion of your system downstream of the final compressor station, which boost pressure and transports natural gas to another pipeline at the custody transfer meter and is approximately eight (8) miles in length. In further discussion, you indicated that the other pipeline is a transmission line operated by Centerpoint Energy. Upon final review which included confirmation that the other pipeline was indeed a transmission line and the Onshore Gas Gathering FAQs published by PHMSA (specifically FAQ no. 5), it was determined that the Slaytonville line should be regulated as a Transmission Pipeline.

Subsequent emails and phone conversation ensued in which you expressed your opinion that the Slaytonville line was not a transmission line and at your request I agreed to discuss this matter with Mr. Patrick Gaume, PHMSA Liaison to AOGC. Those discussions ended with the same decision that the Slaytonville line should be regulated as a transmission line.

Your further disagreement in this matter resulted in a meeting at AOGC office in Little Rock on August 7, 2008 to discuss this issue. Present were Mr. Bowen and you representing CDX, Mr. Gaume and myself. You presented your opinion of the regulation and submitted both verbal and written arguments that were taken under submission for review by representatives of PHMSA.

It has been determined that while incidental gathering may not be limited. It is clear that in 192.8 (a) (4) a limitation has been placed on the endpoint of gathering and that incidental gathering can not be used to circumvent a stated limitation. Therefore the fact that the pipeline in question is downstream of the last compressor becomes the main determinate and it is therefore a Transmission Line and shall be regulated  accordingly.

Any appeal of this determination should be filed in accordance with 49 CFR Part 190.11. Should you desire to file an appeal, please submit a copy of any appeal request and all supporting documentation to my attention at the El Dorado Regional Office.

Sincerely,
Gary D. Looney
Assistant Director
El Dorado Regional Office

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CDX Gas, LLC Arkonia Project: Determination of Jurisdictional Status of Pipelines
Production (Central Station and Upstream)
Based on a site visit on may 12 and follow-up communications, the AOGC has agreed with CDX Gas’ determination that the system of CDX Gas, LLC wells through the screw compressors “PODS” and the Central Station (which includes separation, dehydration, and compression) in the Arkoma Project all meet the definition of production per 192.8(1) and Sections 2.3 and 3.1.4 of API RP 80.  Therefore, production does not end until the outlet of the Central Station. Per AOGC Rule D-17, CDX Gas has submitted a map of these production facilities (as well as the Slaytonville pipeline they deliver into) to AOGC per Rule D-17.

Slaytonville Type A Gathering Line (Downstream of Central Station)
CDX Gas, LLC’s Slaytonville line (approximately 8 miles in length) transports gas from the end of production at the Central Station to the connection with, and custody transfer to, the Centerpoint transmission line. Therefore, the Slaytonville line functions as a gathering line, because it transports gas from a current production facility to a transmission line. Based on their May 12 site visit and follow-up communications, AOGC notified CDX Gas that AOGC has determined that the Slaytonville line is a transmission line and will be under the jurisdiction of the AOGC. During a follow-up meeting with Gary Looney/AOGC on July 17, Mr. Looney again stated he has forwarded all communications to his PHMSA liaison, whose stance continues to be that Staytonvdle is a transmission line.

CDX Gas’ determination remains that the Slaytonville line is a gathering line. The Slaytonville line operates at a hoop stress of >20% SMYS, so per 192.8 it is a Type A gathering line. It is not a regulated gathering pipeline per 192.8 (b), because it does not lie within a Class 2, 3 or 4 Location. The Slaytonville line lies within a Class 1 location, because there are 10 or fewer buildings intended for human occupancy within 220 yards on either side of the centerline of any continuous 1-mile length of the pipeline (see details on class location below). CDX Gas’ determination remains the Slaytonville line does not meet the definition of a transmission line in 192.3:

‘Transmission line means a pipeline, other than a gathering line, that: (1) Transports gas from a gathering line or storage facility to a distribution center, storage facility. or large volume customer that is not down-stream from a distribution center,’ (2) operates at hoop stress of 20 percent or more of SMYS: or (3) transports gas within a storage field
As defined and described above, the Slaytonville line functions as a gathering, not a transmission line, because it transports gas from a production facility (Central Station) to a transmission line (Centerpoint), It does not transport gas from a gathering line or storage facility to a distribution center, storage facility, large volume customer, or within a storage field.

The endpoint of gathering, and therefore the determination of the Slaytonville line as a gathering, not transmission, line, can perhaps best be illustrated using Figure B-2 from API RP 80. In accordance with API RP 80 2.2 (a) as incorporated with limitations in 192.8 (a), the gathering function, including the end of gathering, of the Arkoma Project can best be represented by the decision tree Figure B-2 (attached). As described above, the Central Station is the furthermost downstream point in the Production Operation [21 (a) (1)1, and is also the location of the furthermost downstream Gas Treatment Facility [2.2 (a) (1) (B)1 and Gas Compression [2.2 (a) (1) (D)], the outlet of which would be the possible end of gathering, except, the compressor delivers directly Into the Slaytonville line. The Slaytonville line transports and connects to the Centerpoint transmission line, not a distribution center, storage facility, large volume customer, or within a storage field as described above. Therefore, the gathering function extends downstream to the point of connection with another pipeline [2-2(a)(1)(E)), and the furthermost downstream point and end of gathering is the custody transfer connection with the Centerpoint transmission line.

The Slaytonville line may best be identified as an “incidental gathering” line, as described in 49 CFR 192 Gas Gathering Line Definition; Alternative Definition for Onshore Lines and New Safety Standards, Final Rule (Federal Register Vol. 71, No. 50, March 15, 2006; see attached pages):
‘Under section 2.2(a)(1)(D), the fourth possible endpoint is the outlet of the furthermost downstream compressor station used to lower gathering line operating pressure to facilitate deliveries into the pipeline from production operations or to increase gathering line pressure for delivery into another pipeline For consistency with our past interpretations and current enforcement policy, we proposed to limit this endpoint to the outlet of a compressor used to deliver gas to another pipeline.- (11 A. 5 , page 13292).

‘Based on this clarification, we believe the term ‘another pipeline’ in section 2.2(a)(1)(D) of API RP 80 does not mean delivering to another gathering line”. (IV, 5 b., page 13296)
“We did not propose a limitation on the fifth possible endpoint under Section 2.2(a)(1)(E). This endpoint is the connection to another pipeline downstream of the furthermost downstream endpoint under sections 2. 2(a)(1)(A) through (D), or in the absence of such an endpoint, the furthermost downstream production operation. The endpoint applies to the connecting lines described as ‘incidental gathering’ under section 2.2.1.2,6 of API RP 80 An example of a connecting line is a pipeline that runs from the outlet of a natural gas processing plant to a transmission line. PHMSA considers ‘incidental gathering’ to include only lines that directly connect a transmission line to one of the endpoints (A) through (D). as limited by this final rule (II .A 5,, page 13292)

Please refer to Figure 2-6—Incidental Gathering Downstream of an Identified Endpoint in section 2.2.1.2.6 of API RP 80 as referenced in Final Rule 49 CFR 192. As described also using decision tree Figure B-2, the Central Station represents two possible endpoints of gathering identified in Figure 2-6: the furthermost downstream gas treatment facility (2.2 (a) (1) (an and gas compressor (2.2 (a) (1) (DN. The Slaytonville line directly connects the Centerpoint transmission line to the Central Station, which contains these two possible endpoints of gathering. Therefore, the Slaytonville line can be identified as a “connecting” Incidental gathering` line, with the endpoint of gathering being its connection with the downstream Centerpoint transmission line. However, as stated in API RP 80, from a functional standpoint, there is no difference between incidental gathering and other gathering, so there is no impact on CDX Gas’ determination that the Slaytonville line is a non-regulated Type A gathering line.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are examples to be used as guidance in interpreting an actual rule or regulation–they are not part of the actual rule or regulation and therefore have no legal standing. Nonetheless, because AOGC initially referenced FAQ #5 during their May 12 site visit and used it as the basis for their determination, FAQ #5 (attached) is also used to further illustrate the CDX Gas Slaytonville line case as described above. Additionally, per API RP-80 (2.6.2.1 Physical Parameters) line length and pressure are not factors that can be used to determine the actual function and therefore the designation of a pipeline; the Federal Register Final Rule and 49 CFR 192 clearly describe that both Type A gathering and transmission lines operate at pressures resulting in a hoop stress of >20% SMYS, and line length is not used as a determining factor in the Final Rule or 49 CFR 192. As another point of reference, the CDX Gas Slaytonville line is not a FERC-regulated interstate or intrastate transmission pipeline (see attached narrative).

Class Location of Slaytonville Type A Gathering Line.
As documented on our system map, and reviewed and discussed with Gary Looney/AOGC during our July 17 meeting, there are a total of fourteen houses within 220 yards on either side of the centerline of the Slaytonville pipeline, along the approximately 8 mile line length from the Central Station to the custody transfer point at the Centerpoint Interconnect:

·    There are six houses within any continuous 1 mile of the Slaytonville line near its termination at the Centerville Interconnect;

·    There are five houses within any continuous 1 mile of the Slaytonville line in the area where it crosses State Highway 252;

·    There are three houses within any continuous 1 mile going farther south of State Highway 252 along the Slaytonville pipeline (and including the southernmost house of the aforementioned group of five houses).

·    Finally, there is one house within any continuous 1 mile of the Slaytonville line in the area on the west side of Gap Road, across from the T-intersection of Gap Road with Diamondback Lane.

Therefore, the Slaytonville Type A gathering line lies entirely in a Class 1 location [per 192 5 (a) and (b) (1): 610 buildings intended for human occupancy within 220 yards of its centerline along any continuous 1-mile length] so it is a non-regulated Type A gathering line. Per 192.9 (e) (3), if a change in class location causes the Slaytonville line to become a regulated gathering line, CDX will have 2 years to comply with the requirements of a regulated Type A Gathering line.

FERC Status of Slaytonville Type A Gathering Line

FERC Status of Slaytonville Type A Gathering Line
API RP 80 (Section 2.2.2.4), as incorporated into 192, states: it was recognized that FERC or other agency pipeline designations were not developed with pipeline safety as the regulatory purpose and as such may represent and include concepts and assumptions that are not relevant to Pipeline Safety Act objectives”. However, the review of 49 U.S.0 60101, 15 U.S.C. 717, and ADS-08-01 below show the inter-relationship between the definition of pipelines from a pipeline safety perspective–based on their functional and operational characteristics–and from a FERC or State PUC regulatory perspective.

The federal pipeline safety laws (49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq.) call for the definition of gathering lines as follows:
60101 (b) Gathering Lines–(1)(A) Not later than October 24, 1994, the Secretary shall prescribe standards defining the term “gathering line”.

(B) In defining -gathering fine” for gas, the Secretary–

(i)shall consider functional and operational characteristics of the lines to be Included in the definition; and
(ii) is not bound by a classification the Commission establishes under the Natural Gas Act (15 U S C 717 et sec )

The Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.) defines the transportation and sale of natural gas to be regulated under FERC:
15 U S C 717 (b) Transactions to which provisions of chapter applicable
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the transportation of natural gas in interstate commerce, to the sale in interstate commerce of natural gas for resale for ultimate public consumption for domestic, commercial, industrial, or any other use, and to natural-gas companies engaged in such transportation or sale and to the importation or exportation of natural gas in foreign commerce and to persons engaged in such importation or exportation, but shall not apply to any other transportation or sale of natural gas or to the local distribution of natural gas of to the facilities used for such distribution or to the production or gathering of natural gas.

PHMSA has issued an Advisory Bulletin (ADB-08-01 – Direct Sales Pipelines Jurisdiction) stating that the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act of 2006 (PIPES Act) eliminated the former exception of direct sales natural gas pipelines from the definition of an interstate gas pipeline facility. The Federal pipeline safety laws (49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq.) define an Interstate gas pipeline facility as a facility subject to the jurisdiction of the FERC under the Natural Gas Act (15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.). Section 7 of the PIPES Act changed this by eliminating the exception of direct sales pipelines. As a result, direct sales gas transmission pipelines subject to FERC jurisdiction formerly considered to be intrastate pipelines for purposes of the pipeline safety laws are now considered to be interstate pipelines. If the line has a State certification from the State Public Utility Commission (PUC) such that the State PUC has regulatory jurisdiction over the rates and service of the line and is exercising it (i.e. the State PUC is exercising economic regulatory jurisdiction, not FERC), that would be grounds for concluding that the line is not subject to FERC jurisdiction and therefore can be regulated as an intrastate pipeline by a State having a certification for gas under 49 U.S.C. 60105.

In the case of the Slaytonville pipeline, it functions and operates as a gathering line from a safety perspective as called for in 49 U.S.0 60101 and regulated in 192 (including the incorporated API RP 80)–it transports gas from a production facility (Central Station) to a transmission line (Centerpoint transmission line). Likewise, under 15 U.S.C. 717, the Slaytonville line is not regulated by FERC or the State PUC (APSC), because it Is the gathering of natural gas—it’s function does not include transportation in interstate commerce; resale for ultimate public consumption for domestic, commercial, industrial, or any other use; transportation or sale for local distribution, or as a direct sales interstate or intrastate pipeline.


2.2.1.26 Incidental Gathering

In the case of gas processing or gas treatment, the connection to a transmission line is generally contained within the boundaries of the facility.  This is not always the case, however.  The gathering line operator may have to move the gas through a pipeline some additional distance from the plant to another pipeline.  The pipeline moving the gas from the plant to another pipeline is termed “incidental gathering.” The “incidental gathering” resumes at the plant outlet and continues to the other pipeline connection. Incidental gathering may also occur when a compressor is a potential endpoint. Incidental gathering normal is present when the point of last commingling is the last “identified endpoint.” From a functional standpoint, this section of incidental gathering line is no different from the rest of the gathering system.  The definition, therefore, includes recognition that gathering may continue downstream of the last endpoint identified by processing, treatment, commingling, or compression activities to the connection with another pipeline. Figure 2-6 illustrates this concept.  (see original for figure)

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