The Pipeline Business
electronic communications. The FERC's EBB working groups did a great job in creating standards for capacity-release transactions, especially considering that the business process for capacity release had not been fully designed when they started. Agreement has been reached on a common coding system for gas transaction points and a list of priorities for future standardization efforts. GISB has done a very good job organizing the industry for the implementation of electronic standards. GISB is also developing a model trading partner agreement that should facilitate the development of electronic commerce, and has issued all of the FERC capacity-release standards.
A.G.A. is hopeful that as GISB continues to issue standards for transactions such as invoicing and imbalances, the level of interest in EDI throughout the industry will increase greatly. A.G.A. believes that the gas industry, not the government, is in the best position to determine what standards are necessary. And A.G.A. believes all parties should contribute to the future costs of standardization.
Dean T. Casaday
President & CEO
Pennsylvania Gas and Water Co.
Although progress is slow on standardizing gas pipeline EBBs and EDI, a dedicated group of industry professionals is working very diligently on developing standards for the natural gas industry. The FERC attempted to revolutionize the industry with a fast-track implementation of FERC Order 636, and considering all the players involved, it did a good job. Unfortunately, some of the pipelines got too far ahead when developing their EBBs, and were somewhat reluctant to change in mid-stream to accommodate industry standards. Since the implementation of FERC Order 636, however, the EDI industry has developed tremendously, and Windows technology has been a boon to the development of a more standard EBB. The stage is set for implementation of a uniform EBB, but successful implementation can only be accomplished if it is endorsed by all the players in the natural gas industry.
Jerald V. Halvorsen
President, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America
I am pleased with the role that INGAA and the pipelines have played in both GISB and the EDI process. It is important to make the distinction that the pipelines support, and have been working to promote, the standardization of information, not systems. There is a big difference. To standardize systems would be to take away a crucial element of competition (em choice.
Pipelines are constantly updating their EBBs. As with any new technology there is a learning curve. The pipelines are now moving forward to use the knowledge gained so far to help incorporate both nominations and confirmations, the heart of the transportation business. But, to be frank, there are some segments of the natural gas industry that haven't been participating in the development process and, therefore, do not understand the progress we have made.
Robert B. Catell
President & CEO, Brooklyn Union Gas Co.
Chairman, American Gas Association
Overall, I think progress in the areas of standardization has been quite good. Of course, there have been bumps along the way, but the creation of GISB is a huge step forward. GISB provides the natural gas industry with a forum to