Regulatory round-up

Federal Energy Regulator migrated to XBRL. National Data Repositories retrench to North Sea. RRC issues P&A guide, exposes violations and enforcement data. SEC moots relaxation of reporting to help shale players. Transport Canada approves ‘virtual’ pipeline. Western Regulators Forum issues ‘strategic plan’.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is to transition from its current Visual FoxPro reporting software, now unsupported by the developer, to receiving reports in XBRL, the extensible business reporting language. Natural gas reporting will be impacted by the change.

The executive committee of the National Data Repositories (NDR) organization, comprising the Irish and four North Sea regulators is taking over the organization of the 2019 gathering from Energistics, which has organized the event since 2009. NDR was previously driven by an Energistics work group. The 2019 meet will be hosted by TNO in Utrecht, Netherlands. Energistics has ‘asked to participate’.

The Railroad Commission, the Texas regulator, issued a guide to users of its W3A notice of intention to plug and abandon. There is even a video. The RRC has also launched RRC Online inspection lookup (RRC OIL), an online database of oil and gas inspection and enforcement data. RRC OIL enables public, statewide search of inspection and enforcement information, including notices of violation and intentions to sever leases.

Ryder Scott reports that the SEC may relax its reporting rules ‘to allow producers to report more reserves’. The current ‘five-year’ rule is considered by some to be hurting shale producers. At issue is the $833 billion owed by oil and gas producers to lenders ($400 billion by year-end 2019) and the impact of reportable reserves on loan terms.

Transport Canada has awarded an equivalency certification for Quantum Fuels ‘virtual pipeline’ trailers, allowing the compressed natural gas trucks to be registered and used in Canada. The high-capacity trailers carry up to 638 MCF at 5,000 psi where trailer weight can exceed 80,000 lbs. More from Transport Canada.

Chairmanship of the Canadian Western Regulators Forum (WRF) is rotating to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resource in April 2019. The WRF board has developed strategic plan and is currently working on incident reporting and on the use of standards in regulation, indigenous engagement, transparency, and pipeline regulation.

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