[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 108 (Friday, June 5, 1998)]
[Pages 30734-30735]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-14967]



Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
[Docket No. GP98-34-000]

BP Exploration and Oil, Inc.; Notice of Petition

June 1, 1998.
    Take notice that on May 20, 1998, BP Exploration and Oil, Inc. (BP 
Exploration), filed a petition requesting the Commission to determine 
certain issues affecting the amount and interest due from BP 
Exploration to ANR Pipeline Company (ANR) as a result of certain Kansas 
ad valorem tax reimbursements. BP Exploration requests, among other 
things, (1) an

[[Page 30735]]

extension of 106 days to and including June 23, 1998, of the deadline 
to make payment of any refunds due to ANR and (2) waiver of any 
interest obligation applicable to the period November 10, 1997 through 
February 24, 1998. BP Exploration's petition is on file with the 
Commission and open to public inspection.
    On September 10, 1997, in Docket No. RP97-369-000 et al., the 
Commission issued an order,\1\ on remand from the D.C. Circuit Court of 
Appeals,\2\ that directed first sellers to make Kansas as valorem tax 
refunds, with interest, for the period from 1983 to 1988. The 
Commission directed the pipelines to serve first sellers with a 
Statement of Refunds Due within 60 days of the date of the refund 
order, and directed first sellers to make the necessary refunds within 
180 days of the date of the refund order (i.e., by March 9, 1998).

    \1\ See 80 FERC para. 61,264 (1997); order denying reh'g issued 
January 28, 1998, 82 FERC para. 61,058 (1998).
    \2\ Public Service Company of Colorado v. FERC, 91 F.3d 1478 
(D.C. 1996), cert. Denied, Nos. 96-954 and 96-1230 (65 U.S.L.W.) 
3751 and 3754, May 12, 1997) (Public Service).

    BP Exploration states that the Kansas ad valorem tax reimbursements 
for which it is responsible were received by Lear Petroleum 
Exploration, Inc. (Lear), and were attributable to production sold by 
Lear to ANR between 1983 and 1985. BP Exploration states there is no 
dispute between ANR and BP Exploration about the amount and timing of 
reimbursements received and the petition relates solely to issues of 
law and policy. BP Exploration therefore does not ask the Commission to 
determine the amount of the refund obligation.
    BP Exploration states that although it does not have any interest 
in Lear, BP Exploration, by contract, retains general responsibility 
for past refund obligations of Lear. BP Exploration is therefore 
responding to ANR's Statement of Refunds Due (Statement) and will make 
the required payments.
    BP Exploration states its response to ANR's Statement has been 
unavoidably delayed because BP did not receive notice from ANR of any 
claimed refund liability until after February 24, 1998. Therefore, BP 
has filed for an adjustment in Docket No. SA98-77-000 in which it has 
requested that its time for payment of refunds be extended by 106 days 
so that BP will have the full time period contemplated by the 
Commission to review ANR's documentation and to resolve any disputes. 
BP has also requested to be relieved of any interest due for the 
additional 106-days period. BP states that is incorporates by reference 
its petition for adjustment in Docket No. SA98-77-000.
    BP states that the FERC has established procedures to determine 
whether ANR will be required to flow refunds through to its customers. 
BP requests that if the Commission determines that ANR is not required 
to flow refunds through to its customers, BP is not required to pay 
interest to ANR.
    BP states that although the refund obligation is to be tied under 
the court's order to production on and after October 4, 1983, ANR has 
assessed refunds attributable to ANR's purchases of Lear's production 
from January 1, 1983. BP recognizes that the Commission in its 
September 10, Public Service Company order provided a clarification of 
the court's opinion, stating that refunds would be due based on tax 
bills rendered after October 4, 1983, rather than on production 
purchased after October 4. BP believes the Commission's clarification 
of the court's intention was in error. Accordingly, BP requests that 
the court's October 4 refund commencement date, based on production, be 
applied to it and that it receive the benefit of whatever 
clarification, correction, or reconsideration of the Commission's 
position may occur as a result of action by the Commission or the 
courts in this or other proceedings. BP requests the refund amounts 
(both principal and interest) be recalculated and reduced to reflect 
production purchased after October 4, 1983.
    Reflecting its assertions, BP states that on or before June 1, 
1998, it will refund certain undisputed amounts of principal and 
interest. BP states that certain disputed principal and interest 
amounts will be placed in an escrow account.
    Any person desiring to comment on or make any protest with respect 
to the above-referenced petition should, on or before June 22, 1998, 
file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, 
N.E., Washington, DC., 20426, a motion to intervene or protest in 
accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice 
and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211). All protests filed with the 
Commission will be considered by it in determining the appropriate 
action to be taken, but will not serve to make the protestants parties 
to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party to the 
proceeding or to participate as a party in any hearing therein, must 
file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules.
David P. Boergers,
Acting Secretary.
[FR Doc. 98-14967 Filed 6-4-98; 8:45 am]