HOUSTON, Sept. 21, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Buckeye Partners, L.P. (NYSE:BPL) ("Buckeye") announced that it is reviewing and preparing its response to a complaint filed on Thursday, September 20, 2012, by Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, United/Continental Air Lines, and US Airways with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC"). The complaint challenges the tariff rates charged by one of Buckeye's operating subsidiaries, Buckeye Pipe Line Company, L.P. ("Buckeye Pipeline"), for the transportation of jet fuel from its facilities in New Jersey to three New York City-area airports. The complaint is not directed at Buckeye Pipeline's rates for service to other destinations, and it has no impact on the pipeline systems and terminals owned by Buckeye's other operating subsidiaries. In 2011, Buckeye Pipeline generated less than 50% of the revenue in Buckeye's Pipelines & Terminals operating segment, and deliveries of jet fuel to the New York City airports generated approximately10% of Buckeye Pipeline's revenues, representing approximately 5% of the revenue in Buckeye's Pipelines & Terminals segment. Under FERC rules, Buckeye Pipeline has 20 days to respond to the complaint.
The complaint alleges that Buckeye Pipeline's rates for the transportation of jet fuel from Linden, New Jersey to the Newark Liberty, John F. Kennedy, and La Guardia airports exceed Buckeye Pipeline's costs to a degree that renders them "unjust and unreasonable" under the Interstate Commerce Act. If FERC were to find the challenged rates excessive, it could order Buckeye Pipeline to reduce rates prospectively. FERC also could order Buckeye Pipeline to repay to the complaining airlines any past charges found to be in excess of just and reasonable levels for up to two years prior to the filing date of the complaint. Buckeye Pipeline expects, however, to show in its response to the complaint that its particular factual and legal circumstances mitigate its exposure to the complaint and limit the relief potentially available to the complaining airlines.