Background - Practices (Details)
Natural Gas, LNG, and Oil
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Crowell & Moring guides clients in the natural gas and LNG industries through the multifaceted regulatory landscape. Our clients in the U.S., Canada, and abroad include interstate natural gas pipelines; natural gas storage projects; LNG facilities; natural gas supply projects; natural gas utilities, including local distribution companies (LDCs) and municipalities; gas-fired electric generators; industrial end-users; and natural gas producers and marketers. We provide support across the entire spectrum of regulatory matters, from market development to natural gas transportation and storage, to transaction structuring, due diligence, and environmental permitting and compliance. The firm helps its clients in proceedings before FERC, state public utility commissions and siting boards, and all other federal and state agencies that address issues affecting the natural gas and LNG industries. Our team includes a Chambers USA ranked partner who has been practicing in the natural gas regulatory and transactional areas for more than 30 years. 

Crowell & Moring attorneys have decades of experience in the federal regulation of the natural gas industry, including rates, services, and agreements for gas transportation and storage, gas supply planning and arrangements, and the certificate process for construction and abandonment of natural gas facilities. We have participated in rulemakings, court appeals, and individual proceedings at the FERC. We frequently advise clients on the boundaries between state and federal jurisdiction over natural gas pipelines and other projects.

Crowell & Moring attorneys are also experienced in the field of LNG imports and exports and the scope of federal jurisdiction, shared by various agencies, over LNG terminal projects and the related natural gas supply pipelines, including the increasing trend of converting existing natural gas pipelines to supply lines for LNG export projects.

Crowell & Moring’s attorneys are also experienced in the regulation of oil pipelines, which is conducted by the FERC but under a very different statutory framework than that of natural gas pipelines. We have participated in oil pipeline rate proceedings at FERC, and counseled clients on whether their plans for oil supply and transportation would be subject to FERC regulation. We are also experienced with questions of crude oil exports and the changing regulatory landscape applicable to them.

We help generators secure natural gas supplies and transportation services from producers, marketers, and interstate pipelines. These companies include:

  • Calpine Corporation
  • Competitive Power Ventures
  • Constellation Power Source
  • Duke Energy Corporation
  • MASSPOWER
  • NRG
  • Ocean State Power
  • Selkirk CoGen Partners

The firm has negotiated transportation and supply arrangements for countless electric generation projects with interstate pipelines, producers, marketers, and local distribution companies. In the post-Order No. 637 industry, the ability to work closely with clients to craft and implement innovative services is tremendously valuable. Our attorneys help generator clients maximize the value of natural gas services by designing creative and flexible pipeline services and terms and conditions. Examples of these services include short-term off-peak services, short-term storage services, and interruptible services with enhanced priority. The firm also assists clients in assessing the benefits and pitfalls of FERC’s negotiated/recourse rate program for electric generators, particularly in the context of competitive pipeline projects.

Crowell & Moring’s attorneys are knowledgeable about the complex task for electric generators of ensuring that gas supply and transportation contracts are coordinated with and complement the requirements of electric power markets. The firm’s experience in crafting rate provisions and contracts helps to ensure that gas supply and transportation contracts are compatible with the maximum effective dispatch of the facilities at the lowest cost.

Representative Engagements:

  • Represented Kinetica Partners, since 2010, in all FERC regulatory aspects and ongoing commercial negotiations as they acquired and operate two natural gas pipeline companies with over 2000 miles of natural gas gathering and transportation pipelines in Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Represented a gas-fired power plant in connection with arranging the necessary infrastructure for delivery of natural gas from an interstate pipeline, and construction of a pipeline lateral while minimizing delay and federal regulatory oversight.
  • Counseled a large Pennsylvania industrial concern on financial hedges, investment in and strategic partnerships with natural gas production facilities to monetize Marcellus Shale holdings, develop long-term alternative fuel supply and mitigate cost variance.
  • Represented a group of electric generator clients before FERC in the proceeding leading to the promulgation of Order No. 636 and its progeny. The firm also served as lead counsel for electric generators in the appeal of Order No. 636 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia DC Circuit.
  • Represented generator groups in the Order No. 637 compliance proceedings of Tennessee, Algonquin, Transco, and Texas Eastern.
  • Negotiated, on behalf of electric generators, the conversion of service agreements to open-access service on major interstate pipelines.
  • Represented numerous electric generators in advocating for rolled-in rates on various interstate pipelines (rolled-in rates are preferable to higher incremental rates for electric generators that require economical natural gas transportation as a prerequisite to a viable project).
  • Represented numerous electric generation projects in contract negotiations with interstate pipelines for gas transportation services and interconnection agreements.
  • Filed comments on behalf of power producers relating to the proposed FERC policy on shipper complaints, pipeline expansion, pipeline operational flexibilities, and pipeline-affiliate relationships.
  • Filed comments and participating in a FERC proceeding regarding proposals to streamline the procedures for capacity release transactions and to waive the price cap for short-term capacity release transactions and interruptible and short-term firm services.
  • Represented a coalition of 25 municipal natural gas utilities and local distribution companies in Tennessee since 1990 in all aspects of the terms under which they receive gas supply, including transportation and storage services from natural gas pipelines and gas purchase agreements with gas producers and marketers, and all related FERC proceedings and negotiations.
  • Counseled proposed oil storage project in Texas on the extent of FERC regulation over the storage and associated transportation and delivery of oil.