BP Energy Co. v. FERC, No. 15-1205 (D.C. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In 2014, Dominion obtained authorization from the Commission to convert the Cove Point liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) facility from an import maritime terminal to a mixed-use, import and export terminal. BP Energy receives pipeline and terminal services as an import customer of Cove Point under a contract with Dominion, the facility's owner. BP Energy petitions for review of the Commission’s determination that Dominion did not act in an unduly discriminatory manner under section 3(e)(4) of the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. 717b(e)(4), when it agreed to shorten the contract term of a non-open access customer’s terminal services contract, Statoil Natural Gas, without offering a corresponding “turn back” option to open access customers such as BP Energy. The court remanded to the Commission for further explanation of why the 2012 turn back agreement between Dominion and Statoil was not unduly discriminatory as to BP Energy under NGA section 3(e)(4). Although the court need not reach BP Energy’s contention that the agreement was an impermissible “sweetheart deal,” the Commission may also wish to consider and explain on remand the extent to which such a deal is relevant to the undue discrimination analysis.