New Mexico Ruling Backs Hadson Goal / on Utilities Marketing Natural Gas

Article excerpt

An order by theNew Mexico Public Service Commission prohibiting all utilities in that state from marketing and brokering natural gas accomplishes at the state level what Hadson Gas Systems Inc. had sought at the federal level, according to Roderick Oxford, manager of legal and financial services for the Oklahoma City-based firm.

"These new rules are the type of rules which we have been advocating at the federal level," Oxford said.

Vinod K. Dar, president and chief executive officer of Hadson, said the June 22 order "is a major victory for open access and fair competition in New Mexico."

Hadson Gas Systems had filed comments in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's rule-making procedure dealing with pipelines and their affiliated companies, Oxford said.

"It will improve our market conditions and make access to transportation easier on New Mexico utility pipelines," Oxford said.

The order also provides that transportation of natural gas for an affiliate by a utility shall be an arms-length agreement containing no terms which are unavailable to other end users, gas brokers or marketers, he said.

It implements New Mexico House Bill 444, signed this session, which allowed the commission to impose treble damages if it finds evidence of discriminatory and preferential transportation by the utility. …