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Gas information disclosure regulations tightened

The regulations covering the information that gas companies must disclose are being tightened, Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson said today.

Mr Hodgson said Cabinet had approved amendments to the regulations on Monday. The changes were part of an evolutionary process of improvement.

"The information disclosed under the regulations is designed to help gas users monitor and negotiate with pipeline owners," Mr Hodgson said. "It should also promote access to Commerce Act remedies by private parties or the Commerce Commission.

"The regulations are focused on gas transmission and distribution pipeline businesses that have the potential to exercise market power. The purpose is to promote transparency of conduct and performance of pipeline owners.

"There must be curbs on monopoly power and these regulations represent a key component of the regulatory regime for the gas industry."

Mr Hodgson said the Government will consider the need for further regulatory changes in the gas market in the light of the results of the enhanced disclosure regime.

The amendments to the regulations tighten rules for accounting and for calculating performance measures, require the use of a mandatory optimised deprival valuation methodology for valuing pipeline fixed assets, require pipeline owners to disclose asset management planning information, introduce new measures of reliability performance and provide for most disclosed information to be made available on the Internet.

The enhanced regulations will apply to companies’ activities for the 2000/01 financial year.

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