Natural Gas Utilities 101
September 23-24, 2021 | Online :: Central Time
“Tom is highly effective in his instruction. He breaks down complicated concepts and allows his audience to grasp them and is easy to follow along. An 8-hour or 4-hour lecture seemed so much shorter when I listened to his lecture.” –Energy Industry Analyst, FERC
“Tom was great and his slides were perfect in explaining everything. He was fantastic!” –Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
The course will describe the key elements of the natural gas supply chain, infrastructure, and operations of natural gas utilities, with extensive discussions on regulation of natural gas utilities by State Public Utility Commissions (PUCs), State Authorities, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and Pipeline & Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). It will include an overview of the domestic natural gas industry, with emphasis on shale gas, pipelines, underground and surface storage, and liquefied natural gas imports and exports. We will also discuss how FERC sets interstate pipeline transportation and storage rates and the role of peak shaving plants.
Since natural gas utilities actively purchase and transport wholesale natural gas to serve their customers, the course will cover how gas is priced in bidweek and daily markets, pipeline nominations, and how natural gas utilities can physically and financially hedge their gas supplies and price volatility. Finally, decarbonization of natural gas is a growing challenge of the natural gas industry, so we will discuss decarbonization via renewable natural gas, hydrogen blending, methanation, and responsibly sourced natural gas.
- Determine how local distribution companies (LDC’s) fit in the natural gas supply chain
- Review natural gas utility activities in the physical natural gas markets, pricing mechanisms, and how LDCs can hedge gas supply and price volatility
- Discuss pipeline transportation and the increased role of Asset Managers in managing LDC gas supply, delivery, and pipeline capacity
- Assess existing and new FERC and PHMSA requirements affecting natural gas utilities
- Identify technologies and techniques that LDCs can use to decarbonize natural gas
Thursday, September 23, 2021 : Central Time
8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome
12:15 – 1:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Local Distribution Companies
- Mission and Function
- Types of Natural Gas Utilities and Sizes
- Customer Classes
- Delivery of Natural Gas to its End Point
- Components of Residential Natural Gas Prices
- Regulators: State PUCs, FERC, and PHMSA
- LDC Regional Growth Trends
State and Federal Jurisdictions
- Overview of State Regulation of Natural Gas Utilities
- FERC Regulation
- FERC Regulation of Pipelines, Storage, LNG Terminals, and LNG Peak Shaving Plants
- Overlapping State and Federal Jurisdictional Provisions Under FERC, CFTC, and PHMSA
Important FERC Forms for Natural Gas Utilities
- Form No. 549B: Index of Customers
- Form Nos. 2, 2A and 3-Q: Major, Non-Major, and Quarterly Reports of Natural Gas Pipelines
- Form No. 552: Annual Report of Natural Gas Transactions
- Form No. 549D: Quarterly Transportation & Storage Report for Intrastate Natural Gas and Hinshaw Pipelines
PHMSA Safety Laws and Regulations
- Recent Laws
- Framework of Federal Pipeline Safety Program
- New Regulations
- Methane Reduction and Leak Detection
The Natural Gas Supply Chain
- Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream Facilities and Activities
- Major Players and Who Regulates Them
- Important LDC Activities
- New Markets (CNG and LNG Vehicles) and Others
Natural Gas Pipelines and Storage Facilities
- Top 10 Natural Gas Pipeline and Storage Companies
- Role of Shippers and Purchasers
- How Pipelines Operate; Nominating Gas
- LNG Peak Shaving: The Other Storage Option
FERC Rate Making
- Overview and Approach
- Section 4 and Section 5 Rate Cases
- Recent Cases with Implications for Natural Gas Utilities
Pipeline Capacity Releases and AMAs
- Background and FERC Order 712
- Why It’s Important
- Growth of Capacity Releases and AMAs
Decarbonizing Natural Gas
- Challenges, Techniques, and Technologies
- Renewable Natural Gas
- Hydrogen Production and Blending
- Responsibly Sourced Natural Gas
- Green Natural Gas and Role of Offset
Friday, September 24, 2021 : Central Time
8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Physical Natural Gas and Financial Gas Market
- Key Differences
- Forwards and Futures
Physical Natural Gas: Buying and Selling
- NAESB Contracts
- Where Can Physical and Natural Gas Be Bought and Sold
- Bidweek (Next Month Gas)
- Daily Gas
- Weekend Gas Markets
Natural Gas Pricing
- What’s Driving Natural Gas Prices?
- How Is Natural Gas Priced?
- Role of Index Publishers and Price Discovery
- Natural Gas Indices and Fixed Price Deals
- Major Trends on How Sellers and Purchasers Price Physical Natural Gas
- Examples of Physical Natural Gas Purchases
- Recent FERC Concerns with Natural Gas Index Use and Liquidity
Hedging with Natural Gas
- What Hedging Really Is
- Should You Use Financial Hedge? Are You Allowed to Hedge?
- How Natural Gas Utilities Physically Hedge Natural Gas
- How Natural Gas Utilities Financially Hedge Natural Gas
- Examples of Hedging Natural Gas Purchases
Natural Gas Markets: Regulatory Perspectives
- Who’s Watching the Natural Gas Industry and Markets for Manipulation?
- FERC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and States
- What Gets FERC’s Attention in the Natural Gas Markets
- FERC’s Hotline
- Fines and Penalties Assessed by FERC
Tom Russo, Principal, Russo on Energy, LLC
Tom Russo is an Energy and Environmental expert with unique FERC regulatory skills in siting hydropower; natural gas and liquefied natural gas infrastructure; NEPA environmental impact assessment; and how energy markets, prices, and physical/cybersecurity affect infrastructure investments.
Prior to founding Russo on Energy LLC in May 2015, Mr. Russo worked for over 30 years as a Manager and Sr. Energy Industry Analyst at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). During that time, he amassed experience in hydropower licensing, NEPA environmental impact assessment of energy projects, business process reengineering, and natural gas and crude oil market oversight. He is very active in hydropower and natural gas matters and writes an Energy and Environmental column for the Climate & Energy Journal and teaches energy and environmental courses at the George Washington University in Washington DC.
Mr. Russo is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He also graduated with a MBA in Finance from the George Washington University and a MS in Biology from the University of Alabama.
We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.
- You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
- Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
- You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
- If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
- The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.
Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ
If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event
EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.
EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.2 CEUs for this event.
Requirements for Successful Completion of Program
Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.
PowerPoint presentations, group discussions, and active participation.
Who Should Attend
This course is for new staff and others who work for and with natural gas utilities or wish to have a broader understanding of the industry and its challenges. Participants who are not familiar with utilities and natural gas systems can significantly benefit from attending. Since this is a basic seminar, a prior background in natural gas systems or engineering is not expected or required, although some familiarity will be helpful.