Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Decision Likely Friday on Future on ONG Case

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Decision Likely Friday on Future on ONG Case

Article excerpt

By Ronda Fears

Journal Record Staff Reporter

A decision may come Friday on whether the state Corporation Commission will reconsider granting Creek Systems of Norman natural gas sales to Oklahoma Natural Gas Co. on an interim basis for 61 days.

ONG pleaded with the commission Wednesday to reconsider the decision made last Thursday, in light of new evidence. At the very least, ONG asked that the commission clarify its order granting the sales and stay its effect until it was clear.

The order was to become effective Friday.

Of immediate concern was an order granting emergency relief to Creek Systems to effectuate 61 days of gas sales to ONG in light of ONG curtailing purchases from Creek Systems in March and April.

But at the same time Creek Systems sought emergency relief _ similar to a temporary injunction in district courts _ it sought permanent relief via a limited deviation of the commission's Priority Take Rules.

The Priority Take Rules, adopted by the commission in January 1984, set out five classes of wells and the order from which first purchasers must take gas.

ONG has been curtailing its April gas purchases from Creek Systems since 1990 and this year notified the firm, which operates a pipeline system in Creek and Okfuskee counties, that March purchases would be curtailed as well. ONG justifies the curtailments by classifying Creek Systems' gas within the purview of the Priority Take Rules.

Since the first curtailment, Creek Systems has disputed ONG's distinction of their purchases within the scope of the Priority Take Rules. Creek Systems maintains that since it buys gas for resale to ONG, ONG's purchases cannot be curtailed because ONG is not the first purchaser of the gas.

That dispute is pending at the Oklahoma Supreme Court, but in the interim, Creek Systems sought deviation from the rules at the commission. The company asserted financial harm if the curtailments continue and that as many as 110 wells linked to its pipeline system would likely be plugged.

While the commission was deliberating the request for emergency relief, a hearing on the request for a permanent deviation proceeded before an administrative law judge. …

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