IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Plaintiff, United States of America, filed its Complaint on January 12, 1995. Plaintiff and defendant, by their respective attorneys, have consented to the entry of this Final Judgment without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law. This Final Judgment shall not be evidence against or an admission by any party with respect to any issue of fact or law. Therefore, before the taking of any testimony and without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law herein, and upon consent of the parties, it is hereby
ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED, as follows:
This Court has jurisdiction of the subject matter of this action and of each of the parties consenting hereto. The Complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted against the defendant under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C § 1.
As used herein, the term:
(A) "agreement" means a contract, arrangement, or understanding, formal or informal, oral or written, between two or more persons;
(B) "defendant" means El Paso Natural Gas Company;
(C) "document" means all "writings and recordings" as that phrase is defined in Rule 1001(1) of the Federal Rules of Evidence;
(D) "gathering" means collecting natural gas from the point of entry into the gathering system and moving the gas to a point where it is introduced into mainline transmission facilities; for gas that is compressed, processed, or treated subsequent to receipt into the gathering system and prior to delivery into mainline transmission facilities, gathering also includes the act of compressing, processing, or treating, as applicable;
(F) "including" means including but not limited to;
(G) "inspection log" means the log the defendant is required to create and maintain pursuant to Section VI(C) of this Final Judgment, Betting forth the information recorded by the defendant pursuant to Section VI(C)(1)-(7);
(H) "meter" means those devices used to measure the volume of natural gas flowing into or through the gathering system;
(I) "metering facilities" means any of the equipment necessary to connect a meter to the gathering system and to measure the flow of gas from a well or wells into the gathering system, including the meter, the meter house, and the meter run;
(J) "meter installation" means the provision of service necessary to connect a well or wells to the gathering system, including construction and connection of metering facilities and the well-tie line;
(K) "meter installation inspection" means any inspection of metering facilities that is required before gas may enter the gathering system through those facilities;
(L) "person" means any natural person, corporation, firm, company, sole proprietorship, partnership, association, institution, governmental unit, or other legal entity;
(M) "San Juan Basin" means that area of northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado in which defendant owns and operates a gathering system;
(N) "tap" means the interconnection between the well-tie line and the gathering system that requires a breach of the gathering pipeline wall, including the valve connecting the well-tie line with the gathering pipeline wall;
(O) "uniform" means reasonably consistent under the circumstances; but does not require that identical procedures must be applied to every situation. If procedures are not identical, uniformity requires that there exists a reasonable and lawful basis to explain any differences or changes in the procedures applied, or in the manner in which stated procedures are applied;
(P) "well operator" means any person with whom the defendant contracts, or would contract, for meter installation, or from whom the defendant receives an inquiry regarding connecting a well or wells to the gathering system;
(Q) "well-tie line" means the pipe connecting the metering facilities to the gathering system.
(A) This Final Judgment applies to the defendant and to each of its successors, assigns, and to all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them who shall have received actual notice of the Final Judgment by personal service or otherwise.
(B) Nothing herein contained shall suggest that any portion of this Final Judgment is or has been created for the benefit of any third party and nothing herein shall be construed to provide any rights to any third party.
The defendant is enjoined and restrained from:
(A) requiring a well operator to purchase metering facilities or meter installation from the defendant, or a third party under contract to the defendant, as a condition of connecting a well to the gathering system;
(B) requiring a well operator to purchase construction or installation of any pipeline that connects a well to the metering facilities from the defendant, or a third party under contract to the defendant, as a condition of connecting that well to the gathering system, or imposing upon a well operator any requirements for such construction and installation if the operator chooses to purchase such pipeline construction and installation from a person other than the defendant;
(C) requiring a well operator to pay any charge, other than one included in the gathering rate, for metering facilities maintenance provided by the defendant or a third party under contract to the defendant;
(D) entering into an agreement with a well operator to provide meter installation, meter installation inspection, or installation of a tap without first disclosing to the operator that the well operator may have the meter installation provided by a person other than the defendant, or a third party under contract to the defendant. This disclosure shall be made in the following manner:
(E) entering into an agreement with a well operator, pursuant to which the well operator will perform meter installation, and which includes any specifications, standards and procedures that the defendant has imposed pursuant to Section V(A)-(D), without including in the document memorializing that agreement:
Nothing in this Final Judgment shall prohibit the defendant from:
(A) specifying the type of metering facilities a well operator must use when connecting a well or wells to the gathering system, provided that the specifications uniformly apply to all persons, including the defendant,-
(B) specifying standards and procedures that must be followed for meter installation, provided that the standards and procedures uniformly apply to all persons performing such installations, including the defendant;
(C) requiring that meter installations provided by a well operator, or third parties under contract to the operator, be subject to inspection by the defendant to ensure compliance with any standards and procedures specified by the defendant, provided that:
(E) requiring a well operator to use only those persons designated by the defendant to install a tap, provided that the defendant either:
(F) specifying to a well operator the location at which a well will be connected to the gathering system;
(G) requiring a well operator to convey to the defendant title to the metering facilities connecting a well to the gathering system that are installed at the operator's expense, as a condition of connecting that well to the system, provided that the defendant agrees at the time of any such required conveyance that title for those facilities will revert back to the operator upon abandonment or plugging of the well, or upon the operator's request that the defendant discontinue gathering gas from the well;
(H) requiring the well operator to agree to indemnify the defendant against any liability arising from the acts or omissions of the operator, or a third party under contract to the operator, which are related to meter installation performed by that operator or third party;
(I) requiring the well operator to provide defendant with a copy of all permits or other documents issued by, or filings required by, any authority to evidence the operator's compliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations applicable to meter installation;
(J) requiring the well operator to provide the defendant with copies of all right-of-way authorizations and permits;
(K) making reasonable changes to any specification, standard, or policy instituted with regard to meter installation;
(L) providing meter installation pursuant to the provisions of contracts between the defendant and well operators in effect prior to May 18, 1994.
(A) The defendant is ordered to maintain an antitrust compliance program which shall include designating, within 30 days of entry of this Final Judgment, an Antitrust Compliance officer with responsibility for accomplishing the antitrust compliance program and with the purpose of achieving compliance with this Final Judgment. The Antitrust Compliance Officer shall, on a continuing basis, supervise the review of the current and proposed activities of the defendant to ensure that it complies with this Final Judgment.
(B) The Antitrust Compliance Officer shall be responsible for accomplishing the following activities:
(D) At any time, if the defendant's Antitrust Compliance Officer learns of any past or future violations of Section IV of this Final Judgment, the defendant shall, within 45 days after such knowledge is obtained, take appropriate action to terminate or modify the activity so as to comply with this Final Judgment.
(A) Within 75 days after the entry of this Final Judgment, the defendant shall certify to the plaintiff whether it has designated an Antitrust Compliance Officer and has distributed the Final Judgment in accordance with Section VI above.
(B) For each year of the term of this Final Judgment, the defendant shall file with the plaintiff, on or before the anniversary date of entry of this Final Judgment, a statement as to the fact and manner of its compliance with the provisions of Section VI above.
(A) To determine or secure compliance with this Final Judgment and for no other purpose, duly authorized representatives of the plaintiff shall, upon written request of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, and on reasonable notice to the defendant made to its principal office, be permitted, subject to any legally recognized privilege:
(B) Upon the written request of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division made to the defendant's principal office, the defendant shall submit such written reports, under oath if requested, relating to any matters contained in this Final Judgment as may be reasonably requested, subject to any legally recognized privilege.
(C) No information or documents obtained by the means provided in Section VIII shall be divulged by the plaintiff to any person other than a duly authorized representative of the Executive Branch of the United States, except in the course of legal proceedings to which the United States is a party, or for the purpose of securing compliance with this Final Judgment, or as otherwise required by law.
(D) If at the time information or documents are furnished by the defendant to plaintiff, the defendant represents and identifies in writing the material in any such information or documents to which a claim of protection may be asserted under Rule 26(c)(7) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the defendant marks each pertinent page of such material, "Subject to claim of protection under Rule 26(c)(7) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," then 10 days notice shall be given by plaintiff to the defendant prior to divulging such material in any legal proceeding (other than a grand jury proceeding) to which the defendant is not a party.
(A) This Final Judgment shall expire ten years from the date of entry.
(B) Jurisdiction is retained by this Court for the purpose of enabling any of the parties to this Final Judgment to apply to this Court at any time for further orders and directions as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out or construe this Final Judgment, to modify or terminate any of its provisions, to enforce compliance, and to punish violations of its provisions.
(C) Entry of this Final Judgment is in the public interest.