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Frequently Asked Questions: Storage and the Imbalance Trade Operating Band (OP Band)

What are the imbalance trading criteria for using storage?

During the Imbalance Trade Period, cumulative or operating imbalances may be traded into or out of storage, if two criteria are met.

  • The trading party must have contracted for storage service from either Pacific Gas and Electric Company or a third-party storage provider in Pacific Gas and Electric Company's territory. At the time of the trade, the party must have either enough storage inventory space, or gas in inventory, to accommodate the trade.
  • The trade must be within the Imbalance Trade Operating Band.

What is the OP Band?

Prior to the Imbalance Trade Period each month, Pacific Gas and Electric Company's California Gas Transmission will determine the upper and lower limits of imbalance trade volumes into or out of storage. These volumes reflect what CGT can accept, in total, based on operational considerations. These volumes define the OP Band.

The OP Band may be viewed from within the Imbalance Trading Tool in INSIDEtracc prior to the start of the Imbalance Trade Period. Once set, the upper limit and lower limit will not change during the Trade Period. The current position between these two volumes, however, will be shifted by each trade made into or out of storage during the Trade Period. The trading party will be able to view, in real time, the current position between these two limits.

How is the OP Band set?

In order to balance the system on a daily basis, CGT has set aside a very limited amount of storage capacity for the purpose of system balancing. CGT has only this capacity available to manage normal swings in supply and demand on its system.

During imbalance trading, when a trading party with an overage of gas trades with a party with an equal amount of underage, there is no impact on the system. When a trading party utilizes storage to accept an overage or cover an underage, although this represents a "paper transaction" during the Trade Period, this transaction can result in a system balance underage or overage that has to be made up in the coming month.

CGT has only its limited storage set aside to handle this future make-up and to manage day-today system balancing. As a result, when setting the OP Band, CGT must take into consideration its forecast of system activity for the month after the Trade Period.

If a trade amount doesn't fit within the storage OP Band, will it be held there until it can go through?

Yes. If a trade cannot fit through the OP Band parameters, it will be electronically time-stamped and queued within the system. A status message of "Retained" will be seen on the Web trading screen. It's not an executed trade until it's accepted through the OP Band, confirmed by the system and displayed as "Confirmed."

If the first trade in the queue is retained by the OP Band, will the system automatically jump to the second trade?

Yes, the system reviews all retained storage trades in order of their time-stamp each time the storage OP Band changes due to other successful system-wide storage trades. This occurs on a "real-time" basis within the electronic trading system.

Would you know if someone else has a trade queued up for the the OP Band?

No, you are privy only to your own information

Do I need to resubmit a storage trade that has a status of "Retained"?

No, it will be held (retained) and automatically confirmed if the Current Position changes sufficiently to allow that trade through the OP Band.

Will I be notified when a retained trade goes through?

The trade will go through if the Current Position within the OP Band changes sufficiently to allow it. When it does, the display on your screen will change to "Confirmed" from "Retained". You will need to monitor the status yourself, however; there is no mechanism for sending you a message when the trade goes through.

Is the Current Position changed when the first party submits a storage trade?

No, the Current Position changes once the second party confirms the trade and it is successfully validated within the system.

Can the OP Band accept partial volumes of a retained trade?

No, the system can not accept partial volumes of trades. The trade will remain retained until the OP Band/Current Position allows the entire trade volume through.

Can I modify a retained trade?

No, a retained trade may be rejected by either party, but not modified.