The BCUC regulates intra-provincial pipelines that are determined to be “common carriers”. Common carrier pipelines transport many different energy products, such as crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids, and offer transportation services to other users.
The BCUC can declare a person who either owns or operates an intra-provincial pipeline to be a “common carrier”. Under Section 65 of the Utilities Commission Act (UCA), the BCUC as an economic regulator may establish the terms and conditions under which a common carrier transports energy resources.
The BCUC is responsible for:
Setting terms and conditions for extensions, improvements, or abandonment of service.
Determining the toll that may be charged.
Ensuring those who apply to use the pipeline to transport energy resources are treated fairly and are not unreasonably discriminated against.
The process for reviewing a common carrier’s toll and terms and conditions of service starts with the pipeline operator and pipeline users. These groups attempt to negotiate these items and come to an agreement that is submitted to the BCUC as a tariff filing.
The BCUC determines if the toll, terms and conditions of service in the negotiated agreement comply with the governing Acts and if so, approves the tariff under Section 65 of the UCA. If the parties are unable to agree to these items, the BCUC will commence a proceeding to establish the toll and terms and conditions of service of the common carrier.