The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL) request to invest in natural gas drilling projects in southeastern Oklahoma and recover its investment through the fuel cost recovery clause.
With its proposed $191 million investment in the PetroQuest Energy, Inc. (PetroQuest) joint venture, FPL projects net savings for customers in the range of $52 million. Commissioners ordered the following provisions to ensure further consumer protections:
• Required the use of additional sub accounts from the Uniform System of Accounts to better translate accounting transactions between the two systems; and
• Required FPL to exercise its audit rights in the contract to use a third party independent auditor and work with PSC staff to identify issues for the audit scope.
FPL testified in a hearing earlier this month that the natural gas production investment is expected to secure gas at a relatively stable cost to customers for as long as the wells produce gas, which is typically about 30-plus years. PetroQuest, responsible for well administration and operation, is based in Louisiana, and operates there as well as in Oklahoma, Texas and other areas along the Gulf Coast.
FPL also requested the PSC approve guidelines for future natural gas production projects, which would allow the company to respond quickly to beneficial natural gas investment opportunities. The PSC is expected to review that request in March 2015.
Recovery amounts associated with the project for 2015 will be considered and trued-up during the PSC’s annual cost recovery clause hearings next fall.
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