MMS Publishes Open Access Rule
The Minerals Management Service announced its final rule on Open and Nondiscriminatory Movement of Oil and Gas as required by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The rule provides MMS with tools to ensure that pipeline companies provide open access to their offshore pipelines in accordance with the regulations.
"The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requires operators of pipelines to provide open and nondiscriminatory access to both owner and non-owner shippers for every permit, license, easement, or right-of-way issued to a pipeline for transportation of oil or gas on or across the Outer Continental Shelf," said MMS Associate Director for Policy and Management Improvement, George Triebsch.
The new regulation provides procedures for filing a formal complaint with MMS for shippers who believe they have been denied open and nondiscriminatory access to an offshore pipeline. A more informal, toll-free Hotline will also be available for shippers to talk to MMS staff about open access problems they may be having with pipelines. Hotline staff will seek to provide up-to-date information and other assistance including referrals to a third-party neutral or other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process.