SIERRA PACIFIC POWER COMPANY
FE DOCKET NO. 97-80-NG
I. DESCRIPTION OF REQUEST
On October 15, 1997, Sierra Pacific Power Company (Sierra) filed an application with the Office of Fossil Energy of the Department of Energy (DOE), under section 3 of the Natural Gas Act (NGA),(1) and DOE Delegation Order Nos. 0204-111 and 0204-127, for blanket authorization to import up to 95 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas from Canada over a two-year term beginning on January 1, 1998.(2) Sierra, a Nevada corporation with its principal place of business in Reno, Nevada, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Resources. Sierra is a regulated public utility in the State of Nevada that distributes and sells natural gas in intrastate commerce. Sierra also produces and sells electricity at wholesale and retail. The gas proposed for import would be purchased from various Canadian suppliers for Sierra's local gas distribution operation and for fuel for its powerplants. Sierra will import the gas under short-term and spot market transactions. The requested authorization does not involve the construction of new pipeline facilities.
The application filed by Sierra has been evaluated to determine if the proposed import arrangement meets the public interest requirement of section 3 of the NGA, as amended by section 201 of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (Pub. L. 102-486).
Under section 3(c), the import of natural gas from a nation with which there is in effect a free trade agreement requiring national treatment for trade in natural gas is deemed to be consistent with the public interest and must be granted without modification or delay. The authorization sought by Sierra to import natural gas from Canada, a nation with which a free trade agreement is in effect, meets the section 3(c) criterion and, therefore, is consistent with the public interest. This blanket order authorizes transactions under contracts with terms of no longer than two years.
Pursuant to section 3 of the Natural Gas Act, it is ordered that:
A. Sierra Pacific Power Company (Sierra) is authorized to import up to 95 Bcf of natural gas from Canada over a two-year term beginning January 1, 1998. This natural gas may be imported at any point on the border of the United States and Canada.
B. With respect to the natural gas imports authorized by this Order, Sierra shall file with the Office of Natural Gas & Petroleum Import and Export Activities, within 30 days following each calendar quarter, quarterly reports indicating whether imports of natural gas have been made. Quarterly reports must be filed whether or not initial deliveries have begun. If no imports of natural gas have been made, a report of "no activity" for that calendar quarter must be filed. If imports have occurred, Sierra must report total monthly volumes in Mcf and the average purchase price of gas per MMBtu at the international border. The reports shall also provide the details of each import transaction, including: (1) the name of the seller(s); (2) the name of the purchaser(s); (3) the estimated or actual duration of the agreement(s); (4) the name of the United States transporter(s); (5) the point(s) of entry; (6) the geographic market(s) served; (7) whether sales are being made on an interruptible or firm basis; and, if applicable, (8) the per unit (MMBtu) demand/commodity/reservation charge breakdown of the contract price.
C. Quarterly reports shall be filed with the Office of Natural Gas & Petroleum Import and Export Activities, Fossil Energy, Room 3F-056, FE-34, Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20585.
D. The first quarterly report required by Ordering Paragraph B of this Order is due not later than April 30, 1998, and should cover the period from January 1, 1998, until the end of the first calendar quarter, March 30, 1998.
Issued in Washington, D.C., on November 6, 1997.
Wayne E. Peters
Manager, Natural Gas Regulation
Office of Natural Gas & Petroleum
Import & Export Activities
Office of Fossil Energy
1. / 15 U.S.C. § 717b.
2. / December 31, 1997, is the expiration date of Sierra's existing blanket import authorization granted by DOE/FE Order No. 1105, dated October 26, 1995 (1 FE ¶ 71,184).