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      RS 30:553     


§553.  Excess capacity

A.  The commissioner shall be empowered to investigate the need for using excess capacity of an intrastate pipeline and when appropriate, and if an intrastate natural gas transporter and a person owning an intrastate natural gas supply or reserve cannot by private contract agree upon arrangements for, and rates and charges for, the transportation of that person's intrastate natural gas, the commissioner may require an intrastate natural gas transporter to transport the intrastate natural gas of such person within the intrastate pipeline system from and to the points desired by that person, as long as the need therefor exists; provided however, that the transporter may terminate the contract or enforcement proceedings for use of its pipeline by that person upon giving the commissioner and that person ninety days notice that it will, in fact, have a specific need for the excess capacity of its pipeline, or a part thereof, to transport its own gas or the gas of its subsidiaries or of its parent or of a subsidiary of its parent, or to satisfy the requirements of its own transportation or sales contracts for which it then possesses adequate gas supplies to fulfill.

B.  The commissioner shall be empowered to investigate the purported need of the transporter to so utilize its excess capacity and to disapprove the transporter's termination of the contract if, in fact, the transporter does not have a bona fide need for the excess capacity; or if, in the opinion of the commissioner, the public interest and the purposes of this Chapter would best be served by a continuation of the transportation of the gas of the other person user.  It is deemed in the interest of the state to utilize the total maximum capacity of intrastate pipelines at all times for the movement of intrastate gas about the state of Louisiana with the transporter to receive adequate compensation as hereinafter provided for any such use of its pipeline.

C.  The commissioner shall possess jurisdiction over all intrastate pipelines and all intrastate natural gas transporters and shall be empowered to require natural gas transporters to use and/or make available its excess capacity for transport of natural gas owned by others under the provisions of this Section.

D.  Intrastate natural gas transporters which transport gas for others under the provisions of this Chapter shall be protected in their transporting of intrastate gas for the purposes of this Chapter from liability to their existing contract purchasers, as a result thereof, and shall not be liable to their contract purchasers under any circumstances from having utilized the excess capacity in their lines for the benefit of the public as defined in this Chapter.  No natural gas contract purchaser will be entitled to claim losses, damages or compensation from a pipeline company as a result of the pipeline company having complied with the directions, mandates and orders of the commissioner.

The owner of intrastate natural gas transported under the provisions of this Section shall retain title thereto while the gas is in transit.

E.  The commissioner shall be empowered to investigate and regulate the rates, charges and services for transport of intrastate natural gas in intrastate commerce on his own motion or upon the request of either a transporter or a person using or desiring to use the excess capacity of an intrastate pipeline.  If a transporter and a person using or desiring to use the excess capacity of an intrastate pipeline cannot agree, then the commissioner may, after hearing or hearings involving interested parties, fix the rates and charges for the transportation of intrastate natural gas in intrastate pipelines on either a point to point basis within a pipeline or on a segment of a pipeline, with the rates to be fixed by the commissioner to be sufficient in amount to reimburse the transporter for the cost of furnishing the particular services in each instance, and to return to the transporter a reasonable profit for its services and use of its facilities, commensurate with the rates of return for similar services performed by the instant transporter and other transporters performing reasonably related and similar services in the state of Louisiana so far as deemed practicable under the circumstances; provided, that the total cost to the pipeline company of the pipeline company's entire intrastate pipeline system shall be considered in establishing the price for any transportation service performed, and also for establishing its cost for the transportation of its own gas for sale to others.

Added by Acts 1973, Ex.Sess., No. 16, §1, emerg. eff. Dec. 8, 1973, at 9:55 A.M.

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