On March 27, 2012, FERC’s Division of Pipeline Regulation issued a Delegated Order granting Hope Gas, Inc. (“Dominion Hope”), a local distribution company (“LDC”) and Hinshaw pipeline, a limited jurisdiction blanket certificate to transport gas in interstate commerce.  In its application, Dominion Hope proposed to provide interruptible transportation service to producers from its pipeline system to one or more interstate natural gas pipelines. 

Dominion Hope engages in purchasing and distributing natural gas in the State of West Virginia, and operates subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission of West Virginia.  Dominion Hope has been found exempt from the provisions of the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”) and regulation by the Commission under NGA Section 1(c), known as the “Hinshaw Amendment.” 

Dominion Hope receives a portion of its LDC system supply from West Virginia production.  In its certificate application, Dominion Hope noted that this supply is anticipated to exceed the amount required for its LDC system, and demand for consumption in West Virginia generally, due to increases in shale gas located in the Marcellus Shale.  Producers located near Dominion Hope approached the LDC concerning transportation service, and Dominion Hope supported this initiative, so long as it maintained its state-regulated LDC status.  As indicated in its certificate application, Dominion Hope offered to provide transportation services at cost based rates currently in effect in its transportation schedules for intrastate service as approved by the Public Service Commission of West Virginia. 

The Delegated Order will allow Dominion Hope to continue to be a Hinshaw pipeline and state-regulated LDC, and will only be subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction under the NGA to the extent necessary to enforce the terms and conditions of the limited jurisdiction blanket certificate.  The Delegated Order also accepted Dominion Hope’s proposed interruptible transportation rates and charges and approved its Statement of Operating Conditions.

A copy of the Delegated Order is available here.