On November 17, 2015, FERC issued an order terminating a proceeding (Docket No. RM13-1) in which it had issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) proposing to substantially increase the reporting requirements applicable to sellers that make certain types of wholesale sales of natural gas. The NOI was issued on November 15, 2012 and proposed to require entities making FERC-jurisdictional sales of natural gas to file reports, on a quarterly basis, regarding transactions that entail “next day” or “next month” physical delivery of gas. Sellers would have been required to report details such as the parties’ names, price, volume, and term of the transaction. In early 2013, many parties submitted 34 sets of comments regarding the NOI’s proposals. Many parties opposed the NOI, noting that FERC lacks jurisdiction over many wholesale sales of natural gas. These parties pointed out that, given FERC’s limited jurisdiction over wholesale sales of natural gas, the information included on the proposed quarterly reports would be incomplete and could be misleading.
The November 17 order finds that, as FERC now has “ongoing access to additional physical natural gas market data,” the NOI’s proposed reporting requirements are unnecessary. The FERC has, therefore terminated Docket No. RM13-1. The termination of this NOI demonstrates at least two things: (1) FERC listens to industry input, especially when the industry raises a significant hew and cry over an issue; and (2) companies should be aware that FERC surveillance over natural gas sales is substantial and ongoing.