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    Regulators bet on dialogue to resolve differences in the new gas market

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    “Every time we manage to sit at the table and dialogue within this perspective of harmonization and try to bring federal and state legislation closer together, we have a gigantic gain,” said Moura (Image: REUTERS/Sergio Moraes)

    THE National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) and state regulatory agencies must resolve regulatory differences through dialogue rather than judicialization, their representatives said on Tuesday.

    In the seminar “Transition to the New Gas Market”, promoted by the Ministry of Mines and EnergyANP director Fernando Moura stated that the new gas market depends on two pillars: regulation and harmonization between the Union and the States.

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    “Every time we manage to sit at the table and dialogue within this perspective of harmonization and try to bring federal and state legislation closer together, we have a gigantic gain”, said Moura.

    Moura was the one who sent a proposal for an agreement, last week, to the Public Services Regulatory Agency of the State of São Paulo (Arsesp) in relation to Compass’s Subida da Serra gas pipeline.

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    The group company project Cosan consists of the construction of a pipeline that will connect a regasification terminal in Baixada Santista to the distribution network of Comgás, also owned by Cosan.

    For the ANP, the gas pipeline is for transport and, therefore, is subject to regulation by the Federal Government, which could not meet a condition of the antitrust agency Cade for Compass to acquire a majority stake in the distributor Gaspetro.

    Arsesp, however, claims that it is a distribution company, thus being under the state regulatory umbrella – this assessment does not impact Compass’ plans for the acquisition of Gaspetro.

    In the agreement proposed by Moura, the ANP indicated that it accepts Arsesp’s argument, provided that the infrastructure meets three conditions so that it is not characterized as transport.

    Vinicius Benevides, president of the Brazilian Association of Regulatory Agencies (Abar), said that the national interest must be “above any minor discussion”.

    “The keyword we use is harmonization, conversation, dialogue. The important thing is respect for contracts and legal certainty in all the acts we do”, said Benevides.

    In February, the ANP asked the Attorney General’s Office (AGU) analyze the possibility of a lawsuit in the Federal Supreme Court against state decrees or laws that, in its view, violate the New Gas Law (Law 14.134/2021) by invading the competence of the Union to classify gas pipelines.

    In addition to São Paulo, states such as Ceará, Paraíba and Pernambuco have also instituted laws or decrees that allow the classification of gas pipelines to be carried out by state agencies.

    The AGU told Reuters that the ANP request is still under review.

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    Source: Moneytimes

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