The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has today published an overview of reports submitted by gas distribution and transmission pipeline operators in accordance with the Annual Compliance Order for 2019-20 for service providers of covered gas transmission and distribution pipelines.
Pipeline operators are required to report any non-compliance with the National Gas Law (NGL) and National Gas Rules (NGR). During this reporting period APT Petroleum Pipelines was the only operator to have self-reported any compliance issues. In its 2019-20 report, APT Petroleum Pipelines (part of the APA Group) reported two instances of non-compliance related to two confidentiality breaches. APA inadvertently sent shipper nomination information, intended for APA commercial operations team, to a shipper. The information included confidential volumetric, but not financial, information. The AER sought confirmation on remedial action undertaken to prevent the risk of such instances recurring. APA Group has since implemented changes to its email communication systems and protocols to prevent similar incidents occurring in the future.
The AER receives annual compliance reports from covered gas pipeline service providers. These reports are submitted in response to an Annual Compliance Order (Order) made by the AER in November 2008 under section 48 of the NGL.
Covered pipeline service providers’ reporting requirements under the Order include:
- the general compliance required for a service provider (such as not hindering access)
- structural and operational separation arrangements (including ring-fencing requirements)
- not disclosing confidential information, and
- compliance with an access determination (if a party to an access dispute).
This reporting framework forms part of the AER’s compliance monitoring framework as well as informing its economic regulatory functions under section 27 of the NGL. The reports are also published to inform stakeholders and ensure transparency.
Any breaches reported by businesses are dealt with in accordance with the AER Compliance & Enforcement Policy.