Backbone Transportation

Learn about Backbone Transportation Service and how to participate.

Backbone Transportation Service (BTS) enables market participants -- including end-users, wholesale customers, natural gas suppliers and California natural gas producers to do the following:

  • Hold firm and/or interruptible BTS rights at receipt points into the SoCalGas®/SDG&E integrated natural gas transmission system.
  • Trade their firm rights through the Secondary Market trading module.
  • Exchange receipt point rights electronically via Envoy®, the SoCalGas Electronic Bulletin Board (EBB) system.
  • Purchase and use off-system deliveries from the SoCalGas/SDG&E integrated natural gas transmission system to the PG&E delivery point, which continues to be offered via the SoCalGas EBB system, Envoy.
  • Request and utilize existing Pooling Service contracts

Open Season

In the summer of 2017, SoCalGas will hold an open season, in which parties may obtain firm rights for receipt point access for the contracts starting October 1, 2017. Parties will be able to obtain firm and/or interruptible rights for the October 1, 2017 BTS contract period electronically via the SoCalGas EBB system, Envoy.

All current Schedule M Receipt Point Master Agreements (RPMA) and Schedule L Pooling Service Agreements (PSA) continue in effect.

Regulatory Background

Who Can Participate

The following parties are eligible to participate in the Backbone Transportation Service:

  • Non-core, end-use transportation customers of SoCalGas, SDG&E, Southwest Gas and City of Long Beach
  • Wholesale Customers of SoCalGas
  • SoCalGas/SDG&E Gas Acquisition Department
  • California Gas Producers
  • Contracted Marketers
  • Core Aggregators (ESPs)
  • Storage Customers
  • Any creditworthy party

Participant Options

End-use customers will have a variety of options to manage their backbone transportation rights, including:

  • Assign your rights to your Marketer or Agent
  • Request Core Procurement Service from SoCalGas
  • Choose not to opt for firm backbone rights
  • Accept, reject or accept partial set- asides as applicable
  • Bid for rights during applicable open season process
  • Buy firm backbone rights after open season from SoCalGas
  • Buy interruptible backbone rights after the Open Season
  • Buy firm rights in the secondary market or as available from SoCalGas

Receipt Points and Alternate Receipt Points

Customers holding firm BTS capacity will be able to nominate natural gas for delivery at a specific receipt point and on an alternate firm basis “within-the-zone” from any specific receipt point within an applicable transmission zone.

Customers will be able to nominate natural gas for delivery on an alternate “outside-the-zone” firm basis from any receipt point on the system. All such nominations will be scheduled in accordance with SoCalGas Rule No. 30, Transportation of Customer-Owned Gas.

Total Transmission Zone Firm Access


Zone Firm Access

Specific Points of Access

Firm Access

Specific Points of Access



EPN Ehrenberg – 1,010


EPN Ehrenberg – 1,036

TGN Otay Mesa - 400

TGN Otay Mesa - 410

NBP Blythe – 600

NBP Blythe – 614



TW North Needles - 800


TW North Needles - 811

TW Topock - 300

TW Topock - 304

EPN Topock - 540

EPN Topock - 548

QST North Needles-120

QST North Needles - 122

KR Kramer Junction – 550

KR Kramer Junction – 570



KR/MP Wheeler Ridge – 765


KR/MP Wheeler Ridge – 792

PG&E Kern River Station - 520

PG&E Kern River Station - 531

OEHI Gosford – 150

OEHI Gosford – 164

Line 85















*Any interstate pipeline, LNG Supplier or PG&E that interconnects through a new receipt point may be added to that Transmission Zone.

BTS Rates

To find the latest BTS rates, refer to the Backbone Transportation Service tariff.

Backbone Nominations Transaction Paths


  • California Producer to BTSC (1)
  • California Producer to Receipt Point Pool (16)
  • Pipeline to BTSC (2)
  • Pipeline to Receipt Point Pool (18)

Receipt Pool Point

  • Receipt Pool Point to Receipt Pool Point (17)
  • Receipt Pool Point to BTSC (18)

Backbone Transportation Service Contract

  • BTSC to End User (3)
  • BTSC to City Gate Pool (4)
  • BTSC to Storage (5)

Off-System Delivery

  • OSD to Pipeline (14)

City Gate Pool

  • City Gate Pool to End User (6)
  • City Gate Pool to City Gate Pool (7)
  • City Gate Pool to Storage (9)
  • City Gate Pool to OSD (13)


  • Storage to End User (8)
  • Storage to City Gate Pool (10)
  • Storage to Storage (11)
  • Storage to OSD (12)

End User

  • End User to Storage (15)

Delivering Pipelines

  • EPN – El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline
  • TGN – Transportadora de Gas Natural de Baja California
  • NBP – North Baja Pipeline
  • TW – Transwestern Pipeline
  • MP – Mojave Pipeline
  • QST – Questar Southern Trails Pipeline
  • KR – Kern River Pipeline
  • PG&E – Pacific Gas and Electric
  • OEHI – Occidental of Elk Hills

Customers holding firm BTS capacity will be able to nominate natural gas for delivery in accordance with SoCalGas Rule No. 30, Transportation of Customer-Owned Gas.

Firm and Interruptible Receipt Point Rights

Firm BTS rights allow firm access to the SoCalGas transmission system receipt points. However, these rights do not guarantee nor imply firm service on SoCalGas’ local transmission/distribution system.

Interruptible BTS rights provide “as available” access to the SoCalGas transmission system receipt points. All unused firm BTS capacity or operationally available capacity will be made available on an interruptible basis at the G-BTS4 rate schedule and will be scheduled in accordance with SoCalGas Rule No. 30. Customers taking interruptible service will be required to execute one contract which will provide service from all receipt points.

Off-System Delivery

SoCalGas will contract with any creditworthy party for Interruptible Off-System Backhaul Service under the G-OSD tariff to the PG&E pipeline only. SoCalGas will make available physical displacement capacity at the receipt point on an interruptible basis at the applicable G-OSDI rate.

Pooling Service

Pooling is the administrative aggregation or disaggregation of natural gas supplies at the citygate and receipt point and is defined in SoCalGas’ G-Pool tariff. Each customer may have a single citygate pool contract where they will be able to nominate supplies coming through any Backbone Transportation Service Contract and nominate supplies out of the pool contract to end-users, other pool contracts, off-system, or to storage accounts. The city gate pool contract will be required to balance through each nominating cycle.

Agent Designation for Nominating and Trading Rights

A customer may opt to designate one and only one nominating agent or trading agent in addition to itself at any one time to nominate on all BTSCs under a customer’s RPMA. Customer must provide appropriate written authorization to SoCalGas of its intent to add or change a designated nominating or trading agent via the Nomination and Trading Authorization Form (Form No. 9924). Such designation shall be subject to that agent complying with applicable tariff and contractual provisions. Customer shall provide appropriate written notice to SoCalGas of its intent to terminate a nominating agent via the Termination of Nominating or Trading Agent Form (Form No. 9926).

Buying Backbone Transportation Service Rights

SoCalGas will provide eligible participants the opportunity to buy Backbone Transportation Service Rights before, during, and after the Open Season Process. Open Season Step 1 and Open Season Step 2 customers will receive a packet by mail with their maximum bidding rights based on historical usage and all necessary agreements. All participants will utilize the SoCalGas on-line bidding system for the Firm Receipt Points Access Rights during the Open Season Bidding process. After the Open Season is completed, customers will be able to buy rights via the SoCalGas EBB system, Envoy.

Below are the available Open Season options.

  • Buy Firm Rights in Step 1 and 2 by accepting the set-asides or bidding rights provided by SoCalGas via the Open Season online bidding system.
  • Buy Firm Rights in Step 3 via the online bidding system.
  • Re-contract your awarded rights by exchanging them to a different receipt point.

Open Season Process

The Open Season Process steps are available to eligible creditworthy participants. Participants must have a Master Services Contract, complete a Receipt Point Master Services Agreement (RPMA) and register through the online bidding system at the SoCalGas website. This online bidding website will be available only during the Open Season process.

Set-Asides and Awarded Capacity

To be posted upon completion of bidding step and round.

Step 1 -- Open Season: Set-Aside Receipt Point Rights

Open Season Step 1 of the Backbone Transportation Service bidding process will be reserved for the assignment option of set aside capacity to specific customers as detailed in the G-BTS Backbone Transportation Service tariff including:

  • SoCalGas/SDG&E Gas Acquisition
  • Wholesale Customers
  • California Gas Producers
  • Certain LTK Contract Holders
  • PG&E G-XF Contracts
  • Core Aggregators
  • Rate Schedule G-BTS1 or G-BTS2
  • Term: 3 Years
  • Preliminary Set-Asides

Step 2 -- Open Season: Preferential Bidding

End-use customers in good credit standing with SoCalGas are deemed creditworthy to their specified maximum bidding rights. Capacity Bidding System - Online Bidding Platform

  • 3 Rounds
  • Maximum Bidding Rights provided to each participant
  • Rate Schedule G-BTS1 or G-BTS2
  • Term: 3 Years


  • Non-core end-use transportation customers of SDG&E/SoCalGas
  • Non-core end-use transportation customers of Wholesale Customers
  • SDG&E/SoCalGas Gas Acquisition
  • Core Aggregators
  • Natural Gas Suppliers with customer assigned bidding rights 1
  • Parties with tolling agreements

1 Eligible end use customers may assign their Open Season bidding rights to a third party. The assignment of rights is for the entire volume and term. The form and additional details can be found at the Backbone Transportation Service Assignment Form section.

Step 3 -- Open Season: Long Term

  • Any creditworthy party may participate
  • Available capacity is any receipt point capacity remaining after the Step 2 process
  • 1 Round -- Rate Schedule G-BTS1 or G-BTS2
  • Bids Annual Base Load
  • Term: 3 to 20 Years
  • Bids with Longer Term Awarded Over Shorter Term

Customer Meetings

SoCalGas will hold informational customer webinar training in the coming months to assist customers in understanding and participating in this new program.
Dates TBD

Open Season Training Dates

SoCalGas will be hold webinar training sessions in the Open Season process. Dates are to be determined.

Bidding Rights Assignment Form

The Backbone Transportation Service assignment form is designed to allow a non-core customer with bidding rights in Step 2 of the Open Season to assign those rights to a third party (“assignee”). This enables the assignee to bid in Step 2 of the Open Season and be the contract holder of the Backbone Transportation Service rights. The maximum bidding rights would be irrevocably transferred (unless cancelled prior to the Open Season Step 2) to the other party and BTS rights awarded during Step 2 of the Open Season would be held in the name of the assignee. The assignment or transfer of rights is for the entire quantity and term and may not be divided between separate assignees.

The election form must be completed by the end-use customer in order to allow SoCalGas to prepare the contracts, verify credit, and complete other administrative duties necessary for parties to bid for firm receipt point access rights during the Open Season, Step 2.

How to Participate

New participants to the BTS Open Season must first establish credit with SoCalGas. Non-core end-use customers of SoCalGas and SDG&E are deemed creditworthy up to their Maximum Bidding Rights and do not need to complete the application.

Current RPMA holders should review their credit limit with SoCalGas Credit Dept. based on G-BTS rate schedules. Additional requests for credit and all other interested parties in the BTS Open Season must complete and return the Contract Request form with Credit Application (PDF)

Complete the credit application and send to this address:

ATTENTION: Major Markets Credit and Collection
555 W. Fifth Street
Mail Location GT18A3
Los Angeles, California 90013-1011

Toll Free Phone (866) 313-6622

Fax (213) 244-8316